Where to Find Fair Trade Foods in Vancouver

fair trade tea farmers

(HealthCastle.com) Did you know that there's an organization working to catalogue and map all of the places where you can buy fair trade products in Vancouver? Fair Trade Vancouver is a volunteer-based organization with a mission "to increase awareness and sales of Fair Trade products in Metro Vancouver in order to improve the lives of people in developing countries."

Fair Trade Vancouver does not actually certify fair trade products. They rely on larger organizations such as Fairtrade Canada, Fairtrade International, and the Institute for Market Ecology to ensure that companies are meeting the required standards to be certified as fair trade providers. Fair Trade Vancouver’s role is then to try to get more of these products into stores so they are easily accessible to people in Vancouver, and to make sure Vancouverites know where the products can be found. Fair Trade Vancouver also helped get Vancouver certified as a Fair Trade Town by Fairtrade Canada in May 2010.

What is Fair Trade?

The Fair Trade Vancouver website defines fair trade as "a global movement which puts social and environmental standards in place to protect producers and the environment." Essentially, fair trade aims to ensure that producers of food and other products in developing countries are paid fairly for their work and have safe working conditions, and that environmental impacts are taken into account.

What Fair Trade Products are Available?

Since fair trade is a concept that focuses on improving the conditions of producers and workers in the developing world, you should not expect local products to be fair trade certified. In terms of food products, you can look for fair trade certified coffee, tea, rice, sugar, spices, and various tropical fruits.

Where to Find Fair Trade Products in Vancouver

Fair Trade Vancouver offers several resources to help you find fair trade products, including a list of fair trade coffee shops by neighbourhood, a PDF chart of grocery stores selling fair trade items, and a Google map of restaurants, cafes, and flower shops that offer fair trade products.

How to Tell if a Product is Fair Trade

The simplest way to tell if a product is fair trade is to look for a certification logo from a credible body. Fair Trade Vancouver endorses the following organizations and their logos:

Fairtrade Canada/Fairtrade International
Fairtrade Canada Logo

Institute for Market Ecology: Fair for Life
Institute for Market Ecology: Fair for Life logo

The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)
The World Fair Trade Organization logo

The Fair Trade Federation (FTF)
The Fair Trade Federation logo

WFTO and FTF products may mention the organization’s name in writing rather than using the logo.

Tell Us: So, what do you think? Do you care about fair trade? Would you make an effort to choose a fair trade product product, even though it is more expensive? Let us know in the comments.

HONcode accreditation seal.About HealthCastle.com

HealthCastle, founded in 1997, is the largest online nutrition community run by Registered Dietitians. Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or dietitian. Information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.