Fair trade products tend to be produced in a much more sustainable manner than their conventional counterparts. Part of the reason for this is that the manufacturers of fair trade products tend to be artisans or agriculturalists who oversee the entire production cycle of their product, often doing much of the work by hand. Because of this, they are much more aware of the local resources needed to keep their business going, and are careful to preserve the local environment. In addition, many providers of fair trade goods choose to pursue environmental certification as well. For instance, it is common for fair trade coffee to also be certified as organic and shade grown (meaning it is grown beneath the rainforest canopy, and new forest is not cleared to make room for the crop).
I think it depends on the product you are buying, but, as nickengelfried said, most of the time fair trader products are produced in a more sustainable manner. For example, part of the vision statement for Fair Trade USA says, “Keeping families, local economies, the natural environment, and the larger community strong today and for generations to come; these are the results we seek through Fair Trade.” (http://www.transfairusa.org/about-fair-trade-usa/mission). In essence, fair trade protects both the producer and the environment; it’s a win-win situation if you ask me.
The answer is not necessarily, as in no.
Fair trade means that the farmers/traders are paid fairly. This only really applies to international trading.
Say you have a farmer who sells bananas. The only thing that determines whether or not he is involved in fair trade is how much he gets paid. He could do nothing different from anyone else.
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