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How Fairtrade Protects Company Supply Chains

How Fairtrade Protects Company Supply Chains

Fairtrade International has over 20 years of experience fighting to secure good working conditions, fair prices, and fair terms of trade for nearly two million commodity farmers in the Global South.
In a recent conversation with Sustainable Brands, Peg Willingham, Fairtrade America’s new Executive Director | #Sustainable Brands, Peg Willingham, Fairtrade America’s new Executive Director |, answered a number of important questions about the continued importance and relevance of Fairtrade.
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Why Fairtrade Matters
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When asked why companies should care about Fairtrade certification, Willingham said that Fairtrade, first and foremost, “means paying a sustainable price so producers can thrive, not just barely survive.”
For Willingham, ultimately, “everything — climate adaptation | Learn more on Commonshare |, child labor, workers’ rights — all circles back to farmers and workers having enough money to invest in themselves and their futures, which in turn strengthens the supply chain that companies rely on.”
Fairtrade is significant because it is a way for companies to provide themselves with credibility by demonstrating accountability, and benefiting from guidance and assurance of their sustainability efforts. Fairtrade looks at social, economic, and environmental pillars of sustainability.
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Challenges Fairtrade Faces
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Willingham explains that while consumers want to support sustainable products | Learn more on Commonshare |, companies are very adroit at making claims that sound better than the underlying reality behind them – in other words, greenwashing | Learn more on Commonshare |.
This doesn’t mean that companies should shoulder all the blame: she explains that they “generally want to do the right thing.” Greenwashing can sometimes occur when well-meaning companies pay certifying organizations who are only too happy to sell a certification that would not pass muster.
One particular problem for Fairtrade | Learn more on Commonshare | is that the term “fair trade” is not trademarked or even regulated. This means that a company can slap the words “fair trade” on its packaging without having to explain what they mean.
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Benefits of Fairtrade
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According to Willingham, companies of all sizes can find value in Fairtrade certification, but global companies can benefit especially because Fairtrade International operates worldwide.
For shoppers, the Fairtrade mark is assurance: a guarantee that the product in question has been produced sustainably. This can be a significant source of competitive advantage: fair trade chocolate | Learn more on Commonshare | and coffee | Learn more on Commonshare | have sold at five times the rate of conventional alternatives.
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Sustainable Brands, Peg Willingham, Fairtrade America’s new Executive Director | https://sustainablebrands.com/read/supply-chain/how-fairtrade-protects-company-supply-chains-and-brand-reputations |: source from sustainablebrands website

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