01 April, 2010

Six reasons NOT to buy fair trade

Six reasons NOT to buy fair trade:
“It is too expensive.”
I agree. Justice does cost a few extra dollars. But injustice will cost someone their life, so let’s keep it in perspective.

“I seriously can’t afford it! I am on a low income”
Whatever you are earning is likely more than the slave who produced the unfair product.

“I don’t like the taste. I like my regular coffee.”
When a coffee bean is picked by a worker being paid properly, it doesn’t radically take on a new taste. Fair trade is not a flavour; it is a principle. So shop around and find a flavour you like that has been traded fairly. You may have to give up that quality International Roast until their producers see the light!

“There is not enough variety”
You are correct. It is time more of us start demanding that our favourite clothes, chocolates, coffee, sporting goods, furniture and all those other items we love to spend our wealth on are produced fairly. It is time for you to start paying attention, and demanding justice. When you increase demand, supply will inevitably follow.

“I am scared I will turn into a hippy if I buy that stuff!”
It’s true, fair trade and justice in general is often associated with left wing, op shop-wearing, placard-waving university students. But buying fair trade doesn’t mean you have to stop showering and start sporting plaid. Buying fair trade is simply a demonstration that you care more about your oppressed brothers and sisters than you do about saving a couple of dollars.

“I like to see England beat Australia in all forms of competition”
If you take a stroll around London, you will find fair trade options everywhere. They are miles ahead of Australia in relation to awareness and application of justice. As an Australian, you must know how important it is to rectify this, and increase our demand for fair and ethically traded goods…if for no other reason than to overtake the Poms!

Ok, so the last two reasons may seem a little peculiar, but to me, they are all peculiar. You see, there are no legitimate reasons NOT to buy fair trade products where the option is available. There are only excuses.

So, please buy fairly traded and ethically produced products. And, please prompt more retailers to provide fair trade options for you to buy…and then buy them.


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