In my first article contributed to the Guardian Sustainable Business Children's' Rights Hub, I discuss how organizations such as Fair Trade USA and Equal Xchange have a role in improving the lives of kids. Some of the world's most coveted and popular products, from bananas to coffee, have an enormous impact not only on workers, but their children. Communities such as El Guabo, Ecuador, once suffered from rampant pollution and predatory supply chains that squeezed out any chance of economic opportunities.

Among many examples of the ravages of conventional farming were the bags used to encase the banana stalks, or racimos, as they became ready for harvest. The bags were lined with pesticides and would eventually be discarded, fouling local water and wreaking havoc with children's health. With the slow embrace of fair trade certified farming practices, farmers and their families benefited from a higher premium and a cleaner environment. With one of UNICEF's Children’s Rights and Business Principles stating that children have the right to a cleaner environment, Fair Trade goes above and beyond that directive, which is why I asked to write about this important movement on The Guardian.

Photo courtesy Fair Trade USA.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.