How Fair Trade Boosts Children’s Rights
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.