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  • Writer's pictureHeather Garlick

An introduction to the challenges of fairly traded products

When we buy products that have been fairly traded, we can be sure that the people who made them were paid a fair wage and worked in decent conditions. This is important because it helps to reduce poverty and exploitation in developing countries, and promotes sustainable economic development.

However, buying ethical products from abroad can also present some challenges and issues. Here are some of the main ones to consider:

  1. Lack of transparency: It can be difficult to know exactly where and how a product was made, and whether the workers involved were treated fairly. This is particularly true when buying products from countries with weaker labor standards and regulations.

  2. Cost: Fairly traded products can often be more expensive than similar products that are not ethically sourced. This is because the cost of paying workers fairly and ensuring good working conditions is factored into the price.

  3. Certification: There are many different certification schemes for fair trade products, which can make it confusing for consumers to know which products are truly ethical. Some certification schemes may have different standards and requirements, which can lead to inconsistencies in how products are labelled.

  4. Supply chain issues: The global supply chain can be long and complex, with multiple intermediaries involved in getting a product from the producer to the consumer. This can make it difficult to ensure that all parties involved are adhering to ethical standards.

  5. Market demand: Even if consumers are willing to pay more for ethical products, there may not always be enough demand to sustain a fair trade market. This can make it difficult for producers to sell their goods at a fair price, and may discourage them from investing in ethical practices.

Despite these challenges, there are many good reasons to support fair trade and ethical products. That's why I've been working so hard to create a product type which can help to mitigate and overcome some of these challenges.

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