When most people hear the words “fair trade,” they envision foods and goods that come from struggling communities in third world countries; I know that’s what I often picture. However, you might not expect a fair trade label on foods or goods that’s produced in a developed nation, such as the United States or Great Britian.
However, that fair trade label is exactly what British farmers are starting to ask for. The reason is because so much cheap food is flooding the markets that it has left local farmers struggling to get a fair price for their crops. This is especially true with dairy milk; the price of milk in Britain is so low that local farmers are losing money on each gallon.
Not only can they not afford to pay their employees a fair wage, but many of them are going out of business.
When I first caught sight of the headline I was a bit skeptical. After all, Britain is a thriving country; it’s not like people are being paid pennies for backbreaking labor like they are in Africa, Cambodia, or South America. However, I quickly changed my position. Fair trade shouldn’t be limited to developing nations only; every nation on earth should have the right, and the ability, to pay their workers a fair wage.
When ultra-cheap goods come in from farms, or even companies, who don’t pay their workers a fair wage, the farms and companies who do want to pay fair wage and stay competitive at the same time go through a real struggle. Giving them the chance to use the fair trade label, as long as they keep their promise and provide fair wages and safe working conditions, should be available to them. It’s only fair, and fairness is what we’re all trying to promote, right?
So, what do you all think? Should these British farmers be allowed to use the fair trade label, or should the label be reserved for developing nations?