Badger Mission: “To run a business that is fun, fair and profitable; where money is fuel, not a goal; and where our vision for a healthier world finds expression through the way we work and through the way we treat each other and the people we serve.”
For us, this encompasses the Fair Trade movement: we have pledged, as a company, to pay premium prices for our ingredients in order to support the communities of the farmers that produce them. We treat others as we wish to be treated, and this extends to our global community of farmers and producers.
“Fair Trade” is a term used to describe an organized movement of businesses and people who pay fair and equitable prices for products and ingredients including coffee, tea, sugar, and chocolate. The goal of Fair Trade is to empower farmers and producers of these ingredients by creating a “floor price” so that they know what to expect to make from one year to the next. By stabilizing the markets it allows for improvement of communities that produce these goods, and this includes food safety, clean water access, and education. It also ensures workplace safety by implementing labor standards and safety regulations. Fair Trade prohibits child labor to keep children out of the fields and in schools.
In our opinion, Fair Trade is not about the world in which we live in currently, so much as it is about the world in which we envision. It’s not a short-term solution, it’s a response to a need for a better way to do things. We are working towards a common goal. As our mission states, our greater vision includes a healthier world… in addition to improved conditions for farmers and their communities, Fair Trade farmers also adhere to strict environmental standards and invest in sustainability. And since this movement is so in-line with Badger’s mission as a company, we’ve committed to certifying our entire line of products to fair trade standards in the coming years. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as this develops!
In short, we feel that sourcing and using Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients is the right thing to do, and will continue to do so simply because of this. Badgers always do what is right for the world, and we believe in the principles behind Fair Trade. Perhaps there is not an easily definable impact yet, but in the grand scheme of things this is still a relatively young movement – so our suspicion is that this will change, and measurable impact will be made. And we believe that by purchasing Fair Trade ingredients for our products (and Fair Trade chocolate for our souls) we are making an impact, even if it is a drop in the proverbial bucket.
If you’d like to learn more, here are some great resources:
http://befair.org/ – learn the “what” and “why” behind Fair Trade, and how you can get involved.
http://fairtradeusa.org/ – the certifier behind Badger’s Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients.
And here’s a great video highlighting the difference between “Free Trade” and “Fair Trade” featuring awesome companies like Dr. Bronners, Alter Eco, and Alaffia:
What does Fair Trade mean to you? Let us know in the comments below!