Is it true that the farmers are so far away from us? Which kind of agricultural products have you associated to “Fair Trade” right now?
Mostly, people will answer “coffee beans/cocoa beans”. Well, because of the issue of the child labor in Africa, it is true that coffee beans are the first and the most common Fair Trade products in the world. The origins of the coffee beans are mostly from Africa and Latin-America. In Asia, there are a lot of Fair Trade farmers too! Most of them come from India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Philippines etc. Most of the Fair Trade products, such as sugar, coconut oil, tea leaves, pepper and rice come from these places.
FTHK has joined Fairtrade International and become a Fairtrade Marketing Organization, in order to promote, monitor the use of the Fairtrade Mark. . Our organization also aims to encourage the connections between the consumers and the producers in Asia. In fact, the origins of some of the Fair Trade products in Hong Kong are not just from other countries but also the Asia-Pacific Area.
According to a data analysis in 2014, the local Fair Trade brands in Hong Kong had around 42% of raw material originated from Asia-Pacific region, and mostly the raw materials were from India (17%), follow by China (14%), 38% from the Latin-America and Caribbean-Sea-Area, and finally 20% from Africa.