With so many companies making fair trade, ethical, and sustainability claims, it can be difficult to navigate the nuance from one label to the next. In this episode, we’re taking a break from the ingredients in the KitKat bar to look at the label that wraps them all together.
Before a fair trade label became just one of many ethical labels in the marketplace, fair trade was a movement, built by and for small-scale farmers. A movement rooted in democracy, transparency, equity, and long-term trade relationships. As for the labels themselves? Those are just a tool. The real goal is to get companies to commit to trading fairly with the people who grow their ingredients. When Nestle’s UK KitKat bar became fair trade certified, some wondered if this could be a turning point. Instead, in the middle of a global pandemic, they dropped fair trade for Rainforest Alliance—a labeling scheme with no minimum price guarantee.
In this episode, we head to the coffee fields of Nicaragua to speak with Merling Preza, one of the original leaders of the fair trade movement and the General Manager of PRODECOOP. Merling helps us wrap up the first half of this season by bringing together fair trade’s history with a vision for its future. And together, we find out how we can all support small-scale farmers and their vision for a more fair economy.
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