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Archive | Fair Trade and Labour Rights

Food Connect brings local produce to your street

JL in Motion (2)

We speak with Julian Lee from social business Food Connect about the why and how to buy locally grown food, his favourite food and places, and the impact of  Food Connect in Sydney.

What first got you interested in food issues?

I was fascinated from an early age about growing food. I then learnt about Permaculture and that got me even more excited about how good design can make what seems impossible from an industrial perspective, possible – and even beautiful!

Why is it important for consumers to source food from farmers? Continue Reading →

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The fairness of chocolate

Deborah Andrich talks to Craig Chester about Fairtrade’s role in sustainable development in PNG, what a chocolate supplier needs to do to gain the Fairtrade certification, and which brands are certified in Australia.

The farmers at Oro Verde Cooperative in Peru with cocoa harvest - Credit Fairtrade International

Farmers at Oro Verde Cooperative in Peru/ Fairtrade International

Forgive me, for I have sinned.

I am guilty of having eaten chocolate that wasn’t Fairtrade. To pay penance, I have delved into the depths of the meaning of Fairtrade with Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand, Operations Manager, Craig Chester.

What are the principles behind Fairtrade?

It’s about allowing the world’s poorest farmers to run successful businesses. If we strip it back and simplify it, that is what our function is. Global trade as it stands now tends to work against the worlds’ poorest who are not skilled in running a business, are poorly educated and have little access to resources, legal systems and support that is readily available in the developed world. It’s about addressing those needs at the farm gate. These farmers are the most exposed to industries that utilise cheap labour, materials and commodities. Continue Reading →

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GoodWeave certification helps you avoid child labour when buying handmade rugs

Many consumers want to be sure that the beautiful rug they are about to buy wasn’t created at the cost of children.

Over 250,000 kids—some as young as six years old—are forced to give up their childhoods to make rugs for our homes and businesses. GoodWeave makes consumers aware of this tragedy and gives them a transformative alternative: certified child-labor-free rugs. GoodWeave also works to provide education and opportunities to rescued and at-risk children. Continue Reading →

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App of the week: Shop Ethical!


Have you ever stood in the supermarket and wondered whether a particular brand lives up to your environmental and social expectations?

The Shop Ethical! app gives access to over 4,000 products with related company information. It can help you make an informed decision whenever you shop.

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The global fashion retailers are coming – what’s their record like?

Folded jeans (Flickr/Maegan Tintari)

Folded jeans (Flickr/Maegan Tintari)

Some of the world’s largest “affordable” clothing brands have opened stores in Australia or are headed our way. What’s their record like on sustainable and ethical production?

Zara and Top Shop have opened stores in Sydney and Melbourne. But this is just the beginning of a deluge, with reports of 15-20 new stores to be opened by both brands, and 25 stores on the way from Japanese mega retailer Uniqlo. Swedish giant H&M also has plans for Sydney and Melbourne for 2014.

How do these mega brands stack up when it comes to fair working conditions and sustainable practices?

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