No Canadian wants their food to be connected to child labour.
But we have a problem – Canada currently imports over $3 Billion in grocery items that are at high risk of being connected to child labour and forced labour. Addressing child labour isn’t simple or linear, it involves farmers, workers, businesses, governments and NGOs working together to ensure children are free from dangerous conditions. But it can begin with the decisions you make for your grocery list.
Part of building an effective system that roots out child labour, involves companies participating in ethical certification systems like Fairtrade. While these systems cannot guarantee our food is free of child labour, they can identify problems and solutions, and significantly reduce the likelihood of exploitation.
As you take what you learn and add ethically made goods to your grocery list, you’re contributing to better trading conditions, helping secure the rights of marginalized producers, and helping steward our environment. Here are the labels we recommend looking for:
What ethical foods can I buy in Canada? (Fairtrade Certified, Fair For Life Certified, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified)
What is Fairtrade Canada Certified? (and where can I buy Fairtrade groceries?)
When you buy products with the “FAIRTRADE” mark, you support farmers and workers as they work to improve their lives and their communities. Fairtrade ingredients are produced by small-scale farmer organizations or plantations that meet social, economic and environmental standards. The standards include protection of workers’ rights and the environment, payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest. Learn more about the fair trade movement and the Fairtrade Certification.
Fair for Life focuses on:
Can’t find an ethical option where you shop?
Many ethical or Fairtrade goods are only found in select grocery stores. If you can't find an ethical option in your grocery story, you can still influence change. Take action online and ask Canada’s three largest grocery chains (Loblaw Companies, Metro Inc., and Sobeys) along with their 47 subsidiaries to provide more ethically certified goods.