The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Food Labels Decoded

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JR Thorp of BUSTLE breaks down what’s behind all those food labels.  Fair Trade Certified is of particular interest to me.  I knew generally what it meant, but didn’t realize it covered some very specific and legal things.

Everything with the Fairtrade Certified label you recognize has gone through them — and the standards are high. The basic principle is that workers and producers of Fairtrade goods aren’t exploited or underpaid — Fairtrade says it’s all about “promoting fairer trading conditions for disadvantaged producers” — but it’s hardly a cakewalk to get yourself certified.

For your product to qualify as Fairtrade, it needs to meet Fairtrade International’s standards, which are pretty vigorous: they cover workers’ rights, collective bargaining, high working conditions, fair contracts, and payment that covers producers’ costs and gives them certainty. Specific products, like tea, coffee, honey, cocoa, and nuts, need to follow their own strict industry standards depending on the region. That label’s pretty hard-won.

Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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