In October 2012, when Hershey's announced it would "certify" all its cocoa by 2020, the corporate candy giant received lukewarm applause for finally publically acknowledging its sourcing of cocoa from plantations that exploit child labor.
Do you drink coffee? Do you think about where that coffee comes from, and who harvests those beans? Do you consider how much you pay for your morning fix, and how that impacts the salary those farmers make?
Fair trade is a term we often hear thrown around when it comes to coffee, tea, produce and even diamonds. What does it mean, though, and how much difference does buying fair-trade food and products really make?
The idea of "fair" trade is very appealing, whether confronting the plight of autoworkers in Michigan or farmers in the Third World. Unfortunately, it will be only a small part of any trade solution for the U.S. and the world as a whole.