Fair Trade Cashews – A Higher Standard
Organic Cashews are delicious and nutritious. These wonderful nuts are a staple in healthy food stores and command a higher price than some other nuts, and for good reasons. Cashew processing is time consuming and labor intensive. Not only that but without the right protections the processing can pose a risk of injury to the people who do it.
Cashew nut oils are caustic, and can cause chemical burns to workers skin, and even lungs if a safe process isn’t maintained. Unfortunately, downward price pressures associated with conventional commodity nut trading discourage safety, let alone fair pay.
The good news is that consumers can ensure safe conditions in the production of the foods we enjoy! Buying choices dictate so much of how foods are produced. More consumers are ensuring that they only spend their dollars on foods produced in a safe and fair manner.
Fairly Traded goods mean that producers are guaranteed to be payed nothing below a set price no matter what the commodities prices, and to receive price premiums for added attributes such as Organic Certification. It also means that the farm cooperatives receive money to invest back into their communities in the manner decided by them. This ensures these investments are truly relevant at the local level.
Mother’s Market offers customers Organic Fair Trade Cashews sourced from Fair Trade Alliance Kerala, India, and provided by Equal Exchange. FTAK uses a Democratic process to decide the best use for funds and below are some examples.
Protecting both elephants and crops with elephant-friendly fencing is one way that FTAK has used Fair Trade premiums to improve their farm infrastructure. They have also channeled funds to improve school facilities, support community drinking water programs and control weeds sustainably, and a disaster management fund. Importantly they also invested in processing facilities to keep more value added steps within the community.
Founded in 2006 to gain both higher and more stable pricing for farmers, Fair Trade Alliance Kerala has 4,500 members producing a range of crops including Cashews, Ginger, Coconuts and Rice for both local sale and export, commanding the stability and control that diversity of both production and distribution provide.
To learn more check out this link.