Show moms around the world some love by choosing Fairtrade for Mother's Day

Fairtrade Mother's Day flowers
CC BY 2.0 Swaminathan/flickr

As you spoil mom on Mother's Day, amplify your appreciation by opting for Fairtrade products that will turn the day into something even more meaningful.

By Tia Loftsgard, Director of Business Development, Fairtrade America

This Mother’s Day, why not celebrate your mom in a way that shows you love her and makes a real difference in the lives of many other mothers? It’s as simple as breakfast in bed – if you choose your treats wisely. That’s because a tray carrying a cup of coffee, sweet crepes, rich chocolates and lovely flowers reaches a deeper level of meaning when all of those items are Fairtrade.

The fact is, too many mothers are struggling this Mother’s Day – three quarters of the world’s poorest men, women and children live in rural areas in developing countries, surviving on less than $1.25 per day. Most moms in these communities depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, and the poverty cycle can be broken when farmers receive a fair price for their crops or a fair wage for their work. By choosing Fairtrade, you can make a big difference in the quality of life for these workers and their families.

Let’s break it down.

That sweet little vase of Fairtrade roses that you bought? You can be sure the flowers are ethically sourced and grown under strict environmental sustainability standards. Fairtrade Certified means that workers’ rights are being respected, and that the Fairtrade Premium – the extra sum that farmers and workers receive to invest in business or community improvements – is contributing to better lives for mothers in developing countries.

Fairtrade Mother's Day© Photo: Nathalie Bertrams. Flower sorter Grace Nzisa has been one of 700 employees working at Harvest Limited Athi River flower farm, near Nairobi, Kenya, for twelve years. Harvest Ltd has been Fairtrade certified since 2011.

For example, Grace Nzisa of Kenya is a 44-year-old widow and mother of four who works on a Fairtrade certified flower farm. Through hard work and scholarships funded by the Fairtrade Premium, Grace and three of her children have all been able to attend university and improve their lives in very tangible ways.

The piping hot Fairtrade-certified java in that “I Heart Mom” mug is literally a symbol of empowerment for Magda Reza, a mother of five and coffee farmer in Peru. Like many other small-scale coffee farmers, Magda’s small farm (as well as her entire cooperative) is dealing with the devastating effects of climate change, including a fungus known as “La Roya.”

La Roya, also known as Coffee Rust, has wiped out large numbers of coffee bushes, and with it many farmers’ main source of income. But, Magda recently took matters into her own hands by participating in a training program organized by Fairtrade and others. Through this program she’s learned techniques on how to mitigate the effects of climate change and better manage her land. Furthermore, she’s now able to train others in her cooperative on how they can improve the management of their own farms.

Fairtrade Mother's Day© Photo: Santiago Engelhardt. Magda Reza, a coffee producer at APANS near Pangoa, Peru.

Similarly, the Fairtrade certified sugar on those crepes and cocoa in that box of chocolates can help mothers in regions all over the world create a better life for themselves and their families, because there are countless ways the Fairtrade Premium is used to support women.

For example, premiums have been used to improve access to:

  • Water
  • Healthcare
  • Childcare facilities
  • Transportation
  • Household domestic goods, like more efficient cook stoves

Each of these improvements reduces the amount of time women must spend on unpaid work, and frees up time for paid work, education and training.

Fairtrade Mother's Day© Photo: Simon Rawles. June Moi, Head Nurse at Taito Dispensary which was renovated in 2008-2010 using Premium funds provides outpatient services, support for infant and expectant mothers, family counselling, HIV testing and nutritional support.

Every mother hopes that her children will grow up to enjoy happy, healthy and productive lives. Fairtrade is helping make that possible for women around the world. As you spoil your own mom this weekend, amplify your appreciation by opting for Fairtrade products that will turn Mother’s Day into something even more meaningful.

Visit Fairtrade America for more information.

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