Celebrating Fair Trade

Fair Trade is a way of trading where the benefits are shared between producers, customers and the environment. 

Gender inequality, unfair pay, modern slavery, child labour and the ravaging effects of climate change are all issues that can adversely impact growers in developing countries.

As a consumer, buying fairly traded products means you are helping to support the global community, with each purchase being a positive vote for the kind of world you want to live in.

Fair Trade and social responsibility are cornerstone values of Commonsense, who proudly carry the widest selection of Fair Trade products in New Zealand.

As a living wage employer, Commonsense is walking the talk, demonstrating that their commitment to trading fairly also applies at home to the way they treat their own staff.

Recently in New Zealand, there is little regulation on words like ‘Fair Trade’ and ‘Ethically Sourced’ meaning producers can currently make these claims on their package without certification or proof.

Consumers should therefore opt for products carrying reputable certification such as FairTrade and Trade Aid.

Commonsense co-founders Marion Wood and Jim Kebbell started Wellington’s first Trade Aid store in 1973, providing kiwi consumers with the choice to make purchases that support rather than exploit those in developing countries.

Wood is now on the Fair Trade Wellington board, with Wellington officially acknowledged as their first Fair Trade City in the Southern Hemisphere in 2009.

“We take great care to ensure that our supply chain is free from exploitation and Fair Trade certification is something that we always look for when purchasing products sourced from developing countries. For us this isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ – we don’t want to profit off the suffering of others. No one should,” says Lucy Kebbell.

Commonsense has also been a key supporter of the campaign for Parliament to pass a Modern Slavery Act and represented the 177 business signatories to this campaign as the petition was handed to the Minster at Parliament earlier this month.

According to the Global Slavery Index, more than 40 million people are affected by modern slavery today, and it’s estimated that 152 million children are in child labour with 70 per cent in agriculture sugar cane, coffee and cotton farming.

Unlike many other countries, New Zealand has no legislation that requires companies to undertake due diligence looking into the risks of modern slavery within their supply chains and taking actions to address those risks.

Commonsense wants that to change and they are delighted with the recent announcement by the Government that they intend to pass legislation dealing with this issue.

From Friday 6th to Thursday 19th August, Commonsense is celebrating Fair Trade Fortnight.

This initiative led by the Fair Trade Foundation takes place around the world as an annual celebration of people, including farmers and families, who are working to make the world fairer.

During the start of August, all Commonsense stores will highlight the many amazing fair trade brands and products you will find in their stores.

Kebbell says, “As champions of the Fair Trade movement, Fair Trade Fortnight provides us with a great opportunity to sharer why our choices as consumers matter greatly and how we can play our part to make a big difference in people’s lives.” 

The entire range of coffee and chocolate at Commonsense are both certified organic and Fair Trade.

They also stock a wide range of other Fair Trade products including organic coconut cream, drinking chocolate, spices, tea, soft drinks, soap and more.

One of the wine brands, 27 Seconds Wine, while not certified fair trade (because its product is New Zealand made) nevertheless gets a mention this Fair Trade Fortnight because all of the profits from the brand go towards fighting child slavery.

Fair Trade Fortnight also offers a time to reflect on the power of our choices to create a better future for our planet and our people.

Commonsense’s collection of Fair Trade and organic products are available online and at their stores across Wellington and Mt Eden, Auckland.

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