Fair Trade USA Draws Attention to Farm Worker Awareness Week

OAKLAND, California. – Fair Trade USA – the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America – celebrates National Farm Worker Awareness Week (March 25-31) and urges consumers and businesses to support affected farming communities by buying and selling sourcing certified fair trade products. As essential farm workers continue to be directly affected by the continuing health, social and economic challenges posed by COVID-19, Fair Trade USA works to highlight farm workers who work hard to help facilitate greater high awareness of the problems they are facing and the crisis in the industry. .

The crisis in the agricultural industry

Farm workers are essential workers who provide food for our tables, fuel the economy and support our communities. There are 2.5 million agricultural workers in the United States alone, 73% of whom are immigrant and native workers, who are often not guaranteed basic health and safety protections, safe working conditions, l ‘access to health care and sick leave, rest and meal breaks, and housing security. Agricultural workers produce over 70% of the world’s food supply while controlling 19% (less than 1/5) of the world’s farmland. Despite their importance, they are among the most economically disadvantaged working groups in the country.

Farm workers also often face unimaginable adversity: racial discrimination, gender discrimination, lack of control, unfair market conditions, predatory trade deals and seed laws. Yet they continue to produce. The harsh reality is that the majority of the people who grow food around the world go hungry. Fair Trade USA has recognized these increasingly alarming issues and is dedicated to raising these hardworking farm workers so they can build more sustainable livelihoods.

In addition, despite the deployment of vaccines globally, essential workers and agricultural workers continue to be directly affected by the global pandemic and are working under difficult conditions to ensure food availability. Because farm workers often work, travel, and live in nearby neighborhoods, they are at much greater risk of contracting COVID-19. A recent study from Purdue University estimates that more than 543,000 farm workers have contracted COVID-19 in the United States alone. Additional surveys by Fair Trade USA revealed the need for safer workplaces and the economic struggles felt this year have been global.

Fair Trade USA has mobilized an effort to mitigate the effects and provide a safety net for agricultural workers. After inspecting 85 farms, emergency funds were immediately made available for relief. A farm in the United States used these fair trade funds to offer incentive pay to social distancing workers and paid more shuttles to transport them to and from their jobs, reducing congestion. Other farms have used their relief funds to provide disbursements to the unemployed. All highlighted the resilience that fair trade can bring in these difficult times, which will be vital as agricultural workers face the effects of the climate crisis and population growth.

Why buying Fair Trade Certified products is important

Fair Trade USA standards support the basic rights of agricultural workers and raise the level of working conditions, wages, and access to services such as health care and safety training. Fairtrade certified farms are audited and held accountable for fire safety, hygienic working and living conditions and the use of protective equipment to prevent injury, illness and exposure to pesticides. Workers on Fair Trade certified farms not only receive higher income to invest in their communities, but also benefit from over 100 quality of life protections and assurances and receive regular training in health, safety, quality assurance. and, most recently, COVID. -19 prevention and relief. Fair Trade USA standards also help create safe working environments which, in turn, help reduce turnover. In fact, fair trade mango growers in Mexico reported that their worker retention improved by 42% per year after certification.

For every certified fair trade product sold, workers earn additional wages, provided through community development funds, which they can use for community improvement projects, including helping with COVID-19. To date, Fair Trade Certified products and products have generated more than $ 465 million in community development funds for 900,000 farmers and workers in 45 countries. When brands and consumers support fair trade, they support it.

In search of the seal

The business case for buying and sourcing Fair Trade Certified products is also clear – 63% of current buyers recognize the Fair Trade Certified Seal, making it one of the best-known ethical labels in the United States. . fair trade products and 72% are willing to pay more for it. Consumers spend a total of $ 300 billion a year on ethical products, a figure that grows by 10% each year, and a third are more likely to buy a certified fair-trade product.

The Global Farmers Market, an online store showcasing Fair Trade USA partners and their products, is an example of how Fair Trade USA presents businesses and educates consumers to make the change and engage in the Fair trade.

For more information:

Kasi Martin

[email protected]

About Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization and the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its Fair Trade Certified seal on a product means that it has been manufactured under rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, environmental protection and strong and transparent supply chains. . Rather than creating aid dependency, the Fair Trade USA model empowers farmers, workers, and fishermen to fight poverty and earn extra money to improve their communities. Winner of Fast Company’s Social Enterprise of the Year award and recognized as a leading social enterprise by the Clinton Global Initiative, Skoll Foundation and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also helps brands and retailers tell their stories. impact and educate consumers on the power of their purchase. The Fair Trade Certified seal represents thousands of products, improving millions of lives, protecting lands and waterways in 45 countries and more. The purchases have sent $ 740 million to farmers and workers since 1998.

Facebook: @Fairtradecertified

Instagram: @fairtradecertified

Twitter: @FairTradeCert

About National Farm Worker Awareness Week

National Farm Worker Awareness Week (March 25-31) is a week of action dedicated to honoring the contributions of farm workers and raising community awareness about their working conditions. The aim is to draw attention to the multiple challenges and vulnerabilities facing the large population of agricultural workers, to highlight the important contributions that agricultural workers make to our daily lives and to honor their role in our food system.

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