Target: R. Gil Kerlikowski, Commissioner in U.S. Customs
Goal: Ensure foreign workers are treated fairly by importing only fair trade goods.
In the U.S., we take the global free market economy for granted. We use it to our advantage to purchase goods as cheaply as possible. Unfortunately, we often forget where those goods came from and the workers involved in getting those products from their point of origin to our store shelves. Millions of developing communities across the globe remain disadvantaged due to this oversight.
Fair Trade USA works with these communities to ensure they’re paid a fair wage for their labor and teaches them how to use the free market economy to their advantage. The 1.2 million farmers in more than 70 countries working with Fair Trade USA use the money they earn to improve their lives and their communities. Some locations build schools or libraries; others use them to provide the community with clean drinking water or health care.
Fair trade products are more sustainable for the environment too. The Fair Trade organization teaches farmers sustainable farming practices and monitors compliance. They enable farmers to convert to organic practices, conserve water, and reforest land. Farmers participating in the Fair Trade program not only better their own lives and their communities, they also improve the surrounding ecosystems and planet as a whole. With global warming and disease epidemics on the rise, fair trade offers a locally based solution with global impacts. Tell the U.S. Customs office to import only goods that are certified fair trade.
Dear Commissioner Kerlikowski,
As one of the largest importers, the U.S. has a responsibility to ensure that workers involved in producing goods are treated fairly. Everything from coffee and tea to apparel and body care is currently certified by Fair Trade USA. This organization ensures that the 1.2 million workers in developing nations involved in their production are paid a fair wage and able to improve their lives by investing in programs ranging from schools to clean water.
The whole planet benefits when Fair Trade products are purchased. Farmers in the program learn sustainable farming practices and follow strict environmental standards. Such strict standards offer a local solution for climate change and disease epidemics that reach far beyond the participating communities. We ask that you support the workers and communities who provide us with much needed goods by ensuring the U.S. imports only items that are Fair Trade certified whenever such goods exist.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fairtrade