By Deanna Fleming
To meet consumers’ increasing demands for the welfare of others and the environment, many companies are focusing on social accountability and more sustainable products. Consumers have become increasingly familiar with the Fair Trade label on goods like coffee, tea and chocolate, which ensures a transaction in the supply chain has been certified fair trade (for example, farmers received a fair price for the goods that they sold). But recently, some food companies have committed to a new Fair for Life certification.
The Fair for Life program was a response to various requests of consumers, producers, processors, retailers and their global suppliers concerning the lack of applicability and breadth of existing fair trade and social responsibility certifications. More than 500 consumer products worldwide have received the Fair for Life certification, which requires a rigorous third-party evaluation of social accountability and fair trade. It goes above the Fair Trade certification by looking at a company’s practices as a whole, including the ingredients used in its products.
For San Francisco’s Harmless Harvest, a company specializing in organic coconut water, Fair for Life certification means a commitment to the highest ethical standards in product safety, environmental sustainability, and fair wages and working conditions for all of their employees from Thailand to San Francisco. Since receiving the Fair for Life certification, Harmless Harvest has given back to rural farming communities in Thailand, making a positive impact on health and education. The Fair for Life Board, comprised of local Thai farmers and developed to meet communities’ specific needs, invested in monthly healthcare check-up clinics that have benefitted more than 900 locals and donated close to 400 school uniforms to the local children.
Fair for Life ensures that their certified businesses are ecosystem-based and that the products benefit people and the environment in a tangible way. For Harmless Harvest, this means working with local Thai farmers using traditional farming methods, passed down over generations, to grow and harvest organic coconuts. It may take longer, but in the end, the organic farming methods lead to a cleaner and healthier planet for future generations.
Other Fair for Life companies include Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Madécasse, Mountain Rose Herbs, Salt Spring Coffee, and more.
For consumers, supporting a company that is taking the necessary steps to create a positive impact on the communities at the source of their products is vital. When customers purchase Fair for Life certified products, they can rest assured knowing they were harvested in an ethical and sustainable manner, making a difference for people and the planet.
For more on becoming Fair for Life certified or finding Fair for Life certified products, visit fairforlife.org.
Deanna Fleming is the VP of Marketing and Innovation for Harmless Harvest. Her team is responsible for creating delicious, organic products through an ecosystem business model that is committed to people and the planet, increasing the positive impact in this world. Deanna has also worked for Big Heart Pet Brands and Del Monte foods, driving marketing for top brands in the consumer packaged goods industry.
Find more green life articles at greenlivingaz.com/greenlife.