Friday, July 02, 2004

Fair Trade

Have you ever stopped to think about the people around the world who provide us with the everyday goods we take for granted in our indulgent lifestyles?

Many of the items we buy were manufactured, produced or grown in a country other than our own – and in many cases this means that the people doing the labour to provide us with these products can’t even afford to buy what they produce. Everything from coffee to chocolate, to cotton, to electronic equipment can be produced in various countries around the world at a fraction of the labour it would cost to produce here. Of course this is good news for big business – but is it good news for the people who are being paid those fractions of wages?

And there are issues outside of low wages as well - many companies have little care for the ecosystems they operate in, particularly if the head office is in a different continent. Animals and environments can also be endangered by big business in the third world.

As consumers, we all make choices everytime we purchase a product or service. Here are some websites you can check out to become a more educated consumer:

Click here to go to the Oxfam Canada site

Click here to go to the Rainforest Alliance site

And this is just a start - the more you investigate, the more you'll see how each of us has the power to make educated and responsible choices to make a difference.

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