Have you ever heard the term the bottom line? It means the final or most important point. In business, often the most important point or bottom line of the company relates to its financial statements - specifically the profit or loss number.
If a company or business has a large profit it is considered successful. But what happens if a business makes lots of money but treats its workers and our planet poorly? Is it still successful? Is it fair?
When you hear the term Fair Trade or see a product with the Fair Trade symbol on it, it means that the business thinks about more than just the financial bottom line. It cares about the people and the planet as well as the profit. This is called the Triple Bottom Line. People, Planet, Profit.
Fair Trade businesses care about people. They make sure that children are not forced to work and make products. Instead they help children to stay in school and get a good education. Making sure that women and children have the same equal rights as men is also a top priority.
They make sure that workers are paid fairly and on time so they can pay for the things they need. They hire people who have a harder time getting jobs like people with disabilities or people with little education.
Fair Trade businesses care about our planet. They don’t want to pollute or misuse resources. Often these businesses give back in many different ways. Some plant trees to replace resources they use for example. They find environmentally friendly ways to package their products. They recycle and reuse!
Fair Trade businesses still care about profit. They need to make money in order to stay in business, and make it sustainable – which means it can last for a long time. This is important so that all the workers can continue to live healthy and happy lives.
Businesses that apply fair practices work hard to develop good relationships with their suppliers. They know that workers count on them to make good decisions so that their product will continue to keep them employed.
You might be wondering right now, how can I help? The good news is you can help in many ways. In fact you are very important! When you and your family spend money on things that you need or gifts that you want to give to the special people in your life, you can choose products that are Fair Trade! Then you are a part of the movement. You are telling the world that you support the Triple Bottom Line, and the businesses that practice it.
People, Planet, Profit! Now that's a good investment!
What's your favorite fair trade product? Tell us about it in the comments below, or connect with us on social media.