This, and choosing to buy Fairtrade products wherever possible, is the bottom line conclusion in the following reader's letter to the Toronto Star published Saturday, June 17, 2017 under the line -
Fairtrade helps fight child labour
Re: Caution: Children at work, June 13
There is one simple way to ensure child labour has not been used to produce your coffee, chocolate bar, leather jacket or cotton T-shirt: Fairtrade.
Fairtrade-certified products have been produced by farmers and workers who follow strict standards that protect people’s rights and the environment. This means no child or slave labour, sustainable production methods, safe working environments and a premium for producers that is invested in local projects such as education, health care, environment, and training.
All of the products sold through Fairtrade are equatorial, which we consume in mass amounts but cannot produce: coffee, tea, cotton, sugar and chocolate are just some examples.
On first glance, Fairtrade-certified products are slightly more expensive but, in fact, these prices represent the true cost based on fair wages, safe working conditions and sustainable production methods. Items that are cheaper and not Fairtrade, especially chocolate, leather and coffee, use free child labour.
As consumers, we need to acknowledge our part in supporting child labour by squeezing retailers for the lowest prices. We need to change the way we consume.