If you're familiar with Nature's Path at all, you've probably come across the phrase 'Leave the earth better than you found it'. It's kind of our mantra. It's a quote from our founder's Dad, and it's something we try to keep front of mind with everything we do. It's part of the reason we source as locally as possible, as much as possible. So far, we've managed to source 78% of our ingredients in North America. But when we can't, that mantra is the reason we try to source them as ethically as possible, and why we partner up with suppliers who share our values for organic agriculture and sustainability. That in mind, we're committed to purchasing all of our organic cocoa fair trade,and we're doing what we can to purchase our organic sugar cane, molasses, and spices from Fairtrade farmers, so they can have a better earth, too.
You might be wondering, what's the difference between 'fair trade' and 'Fairtrade'? Here's the scoop from Fairtrade International:
Fair Trade (also known as "fair trade" or "fairly traded") refers to the broader concept of fairness and decency in the marketplace, whereas "Fairtrade" refers to the specific Fair Trade certification system run by Fairtrade International (FLO) and its members.
Here's a rundown of what you're supporting every time you choose to buy Fair Trade:
FAIR PRICE: Farmers get paid properly. Democratically organized farmer groups (called cooperatives) receive a guaranteed minimum price and an additional social premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
FAIR LABOR CONDITIONS: Farmers get treated properly.Workers on Fairtrade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
DIRECT TRADE: Eliminate the middleman! With Fairtrade, importers purchase from Fairtrade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
FAIR ORGANIZATIONS: Farmers and workers get a say. Fairtrade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fairtrade revenues.
COMMUNITY MINDED: Helps not just the farmers, but the whole community. Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification. Fairtrade farmers in Paraguay have used the premiums for things like helping the community through lean times with food and basics, or farming equipment, a community hall, a health clinic, home repairs, and even cleaner water.
SUSTAINABLE: Helps long term. Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.