Tag Archives: Fair Trade Certification

Stellar Winery for a Stellar Cause!

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Fair Trade Fashionista* has you and your sweetie covered in the area of fine organic and Fair Trade “wining”….

Photosource: http://www.stellarorganics.com/about.php

Amid beautiful rolling hills stands Stellar Winery, the largest South African producer of fine organic wines. They process 4,500 tons of organic grapes for the South African and export markets.

Stellar became the first organic winery to receive official Fair Trade Certification from the Fair Trade Federation, and was also the first in South Africa to produce commercially viable no-sulphur-added wines!

Subsequtenly, Stellar became the largest producer of this type of wine in the world and is the largest producer of no-sulphur-added wines in the UK. Stellar has been trying to break into the US markets since last year, when they donated a couple cases to a Fair Trade Event I was working at, and let me tell you, this is some tasty stuff!

Photosource: http://www.stellarorganics.com/about.php

Stellar Winery has refused to make compromises on the organic or Fair Trade quality of their products ever since the beginning. Stellar replaces pesticides with hand picking, de-stemming, crushing the grapes with care, and immediately cooling them to zero degrees Celcius. Keeping the grapes at this low temperature inactivates bacteria and yeast, allowing Stellar to avoid the use of Sulpur dioxide (SO2). For more extended information on their wine making process, see Stellar Winery’s website, which goes into great detail for both red and white wines seperately!

However, being Fair Trade certified and Sulphur free wasn’t enough for Stellar Winery. They continue to make sure that from start to finish, the process through which their wine is produced is completely organic: They utilize a system of farming which maintains and replenishes the soil, use only indigenous vegetation for mulching, and control weeds with environmentally sound processes. All this hard work has made Stellar certified by not only USDA, but also the Control Union Certifications (an organic company supervised by the Dutch Accreditation Council RvA, ensuring EU criteria for organic agriculture and production are strictly adhered to).

So purchasing Stellar Wine is not only good for the environment, and its producers, but is impressively refined enough for any wine connossieur to appreciate! Stellar Wine offers their own Shiraz, Merlot, Pinotage and Cabernet Savignon, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz Rose, specialty drinks and more! Just view their website for the easily available options.

Photosource: http://www.stellarorganics.com/products.php

Above, you see a bottle of Stellar’s Merlot. Fair Trade. Organic. Ready to be consumed.

Order Stellar just in time for Valentine’s day for you and your sweetie!

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National Call to Action to demand Hersey’s receives Fair Trade certification!

To continue our spotlight on Cadbury for coming out with a Fair Trade Chocolate bar (that should be out sometime this summer! Yummy) for the U.K., Green America along with a couple powerful alibi’s announced June 23rd as a  “National Day for Action”  to demand Hersey’s jumps onboard the Fair Trade boat.

hershey-branded-characters

Photosource: www.tripadvisor.com

 This call will request Hersey’s Foods Corporation – one of the largest chocolate produceres in the United States and most famour for their chocolate “kisses” – abides by third party Fair Trade certification of all cocoa farms they source from. This would ensure no abusive labor practices are used, such as child labor or bonded slavery.

child%20labour

Photosource: www.crighana.org

*Child laborers carry baskets of cocoa on their heads

In other words, this call will ensure Hersey’s “kisses” care as much for those who produce them as those who consume them.

With partners such as the International Labour Rights Forum (ILRF), the Organic Consumer’s Association, and Global Exchange, Green America provided numbers of Hersey’s officials and even a script, so that anyone can be a labor vigilante by just picking up the phone! It only takes two minutes.

So while June 23rd has come and gone, this National Call to Action is alive and well until Hersey’s makes a move. So make the call today! Let’s work together to make Hersey’s kisses something we can enjoy from a moral and ethical standpoint as well!

Fair Trade Certification

Official Fair Trade Certification Symbol

Official Fair Trade Certification Symbol

Before I get into all the wonderful chic products I have found which are Fair trade, I thought I would mention what it means for products to be Fair Trade; certified or not.

Generally, a product is certified as Fair trade when workers creating a product were paid what is considered a “fair wage” in their region. How much a “fair wage” is decided by different Fair Trade certification bodies. However, a fair wage usually guarantees the wage workers are paid allows them to support their families and keeps children from having to work.

According to TransFair USA:

The Fair Trade Certified™ label guarantees consumers that strict economic, social and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product. Fair Trade Certification is currently available in the U.S. for coffee, tea and herbs, cocoa and chocolate, fresh fruit, flowers, sugar, rice, and vanilla. TransFair USA licenses companies to display the Fair Trade Certified label on products that meet strict international Fair Trade standards.

However, this certification process, developed with only good intent, has also become controversial at times. For one, some small artisan groups do not have the time or money to have a huge certification body to inspect their cooperative. For this reason, there are many artisan groups whose products I would honor as Fair Trade but which are not certified officially because of the political and bureaucratic tendencies of the certification system that now exists. Also, as Tazo Chocolates in Somerville, MA, directly trades with artisan groups in Mexico, while Tazo chocolate is not certified Fair Trade, because of their business ethics and direct link to the farmers, their products are honestly manufactured and I would also consider them Fair Trade.

As you can see Fair Trade certification is an extremely complicated theme, and I have only very briefly over viewed it for you. To read more about Fair Trade certification systems, read a blog from Green Cotton, called Fair Trade: What it is and how to certify.