Four reasons (myths) why marketing Fair Trade is a challenge

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1. Fair Trade products are more expensive.

Reality: For the most part, Fair Trade Certified products are priced competitively. Most times Fair Trade products are the same price as regular products. But remember, when considering quality, you get what you pay for. Some FT products may be more expensive than low-quality, mass -produced products – but not always! Check out our comparison below.

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2. Workers under Fair Trade don’t really get paid fairly.

Reality: The wages paid to our artisans are designed to reflect the amount of time, skill and effort put into making the products. Renowned and loved brands feed off of cheap labor, thus they have the advantage of wider target customers, which is hard to compete with since these brands have been around for decades.

3. Fair Trade prices interfere with the running of the free market.

Reality: Farmers and artisans receive a fixed price for coffee, fruit and merchandise as opposed to letting the market decide, allowing for the empowerment of marginalized people in efforts to improve their lives, Fair Trade simply adds on additional business model that focuses on social responsibility.

4. A single person who changes their shopping habits won’t make a real impact.

Reality: The artisan receives a sustainable cost of production, plus a premium that their community invests in education and healthcare. Your contribution may not improve a whole nation’s economic prosperity, but it can change an individual’s standard of living.

By Marianna Rivera, UC Berkeley, B.A Political Economy

 

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