Originally published in The New Zealand Herald’s magazine Element, March 26 2012, issue 9.
Chances are as you settle back to read this, you’re sipping on a piping hot cup of coffee, savouring the aroma and enjoying the sweet taste of a caffeine-fuelled kick-start to your day.
But many of the ingredients that go into our favourite daily indulgences – the coffee in your cup, the cocoa beans and sugar in chocolate, the spices in our food and even the cotton in the clothes we wear – are sourced from farmers who are not paid enough to even cover the costs of production, let alone feed their families and provide adequate healthcare and education for their children.
For decades the fair trade movement has been working to establish an alternative and much fairer approach to the way materials are traded. But with Kiwi wallets feeling the economic pinch, are shoppers prepared to put their money where their ethics are and buy Fairtrade goods, and how well is New Zealand poised to take advantage of gaps in the local marketplace?