Fair-Trade Principle Ten: Respect for the Environment

Fair Trade is becoming a popular concept, but unless explored and seen in practice, it’s a hard concept to understand in depth. Seven Women supports and applies the principles of Fair Trade in the grass roots development project we have created. Organisations which produce Fair Trade products maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. They use production technologies that seek to reduce energy consumption and where possible use renewable energy technologies that minimize greenhouse gas emissions. They seek to minimize the impact of their waste stream on the environment. Fair Trade agricultural commodity producers minimize their environmental impacts, by using organic or low pesticide use production methods wherever possible.

The women have been trained in how to make briquettes. This was mainly because cooking oil was a serious shortage for a while and it was seen as a good opportunity to sell the recycled paper briquettes to the local market. We have invested in two solar cookers at the centre which the women use to cook and heat tea and are currently growing their own veggies in a veggie patch.

Buyers and importers of Fair Trade products give priority to buying products made from raw materials that originate from sustainably managed sources, and have the least overall impact on the environment. All organisations use recycled or easily biodegradable materials for packing to the extent possible, and goods are dispatched by sea wherever possible.

This is the last of our Fair-Trade principles that demonstrate how Fair Trade operates in Seven Women. Comment on this post as we're keen to hear some feedback, and any further questions you may have of Fair Trade, or further clarification on how it operates within Seven Women.

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Byron - Seven Women, Melbourne