You may have heard the term “fair trade” before, but what is it? And why is it important to us at Ayr Skin Care?
At Ayr, we’re proud to count ourselves among a growing community of ethical skin care brands who care about their business practices and not just the bottom line. And we pay particular attention to where our ingredients come from, and to the working conditions and wages paid to growers.
That’s where fair trade skin care comes in. From our fair trade marula oil to our fair trade shea butter, read on to learn more.
What Is the Fair Trade Movement?
Some of the most wonderful ingredients in natural skin care come from the poorest places in the world, like India, Africa, and South America. What are ethical skin care brands to do when the prices that we pay suppliers for our ingredients don’t reflect what those farmers actually earn?
It’s not just a skin care problem either: It affects everything from coffee, to shoes, to diamonds. Powerful market forces have created an imbalanced system: Our demand for low prices as shoppers, plus strong pressures on companies to deliver profits to their shareholders, compels those companies to undercut the prices they pay to growers. Few of us truly realize how badly this impacts living situations for workers in poor regions.
So in the 1980s, a movement started globally, calling for producers of raw ingredients (like coffee, sugar, and oils) to be compensated more fairly. The aptly-named fair trade movement is an alliance between Western advocates, importers, businesses, and shoppers who are willing to pay a premium on goods to help growers in poor countries. This is a movement that ethical skin care brands like Ayr are proud to be a part of.
A Fair Price for Growers
Today, there are many organizations all over the world who work with farmers and producers of raw ingredients.
The central idea of fair trade is a price floor paid to producers. The intention of this is that, with an agreed-upon “we will never pay you less than this” price, growers will be able to earn a more sustainable living. To practice fair trade skin care means that we do business with suppliers who respect these price floors, or even go above them.
Fair Trade Rules
The main goal is to allow the producers of ingredients to be able to pay their workers enough money to live on. The price varies according to the area of the world, the specific crop or commodity in question, and many other factors, but, once the price is set, the idea is that fair trade purchasers will not try to undercut it.
From there, ethical skin care brands gain confidence that these are suppliers they can trust.
There are often many additional goals, such as using some of the extra money to build schools for growers and their communities, reducing the agricultural destruction of forests, reducing pollution, and so on. Because of these goals, there are additional rules that fair trade producers must comply with.
Safe Working Environments
I order to enter into a fair trade contract, growers must certify that their operations are free of forced labor or child labor. They must ensure safe and hygienic working conditions for their employees, and follow safety requirements when it comes to the machinery, chemicals, and techniques that workers are required to use to carry out their jobs.
This is a human rights issue, one which all ethical skin care brands have to support.
But fair trade does more than just help producers and their employees in poor countries. It also ensures the continued sustainability of crops. All crops are raised with sustainable methods and no GMO crops are allowed into fair trade co-ops.
Putting People and the Planet First
At Ayr Skin Care we believe in helping our Earth and its people by putting them first. Rather than buying oils at the cheapest prices, we seek out fair trade ingredients whenever possible, even though they cost much more.
Ayr’s Shea Butter
Our organic fair trade shea butter, which is used in our Pure Moisture Nourishing Face Cream, as well as our Dead Sea Spa Body Bar, comes from a woman’s co-op in Ghana. This is the heart of what ethical skin care brands are all about. We personally know the buyers who go to Ghana, and we have seen the facility and met the women who work there. We are satisfied that they are doing good work, and we are proud to do business with them. The ladies are paid well, their community is prospering, and we are contributing to their pension plan to help them support their families without fear of the future.
For that matter, so are you when you buy our products containing fair trade shea butter. Here’s a tip for reducing fine lines: Going to sleep knowing you’ve done a little bit of good in the world, for people you’ll never meet. That’s a benefit of fair trade skin care that isn’t going to show up on the label.
Ayr’s Marula Oil
The marula oil that we buy for our Virgin Marula Oil is also very expensive compared to regular marula oil. The difference is that we are making sure that the fair trade woman’s co-op in Namibia is treating their employees right, by increasing the standard of living without exploitation.
Time has shown that when workers are treated well, paid well, and the community is able to move forward, it transfers onto a healthier and happier next generation of children and families. Ethical skin care brands get that entire ball rolling by paying that higher premium for ingredients. In contrast, companies that operate outside the fair trade movement contribute to endless poverty for workers, the financial ruin of family farms, and environmental destruction.
We Are All One
Fair trade isn’t a giveaway. It’s a fair price for people who do hard work. Ayr Skin Care knows that there are less expensive ingredients out there, but we are more concerned with working with fair trade organizations, and with responsibly produced crops, in order to help keep the world healthy and balanced.
Fair trade skin care is just one of the reasons you can confidently count us among ethical skin care brands. Something like fair trade shea butter may be just a small ingredient in your facial moisturizer, but behind it are a company that cares enough to purchase it, a diligent and resourceful fair trade supplier, a producer who is concerned with taking care of its employees, and the employees themselves, who actually work the farms.
We are all one on this planet, and Ayr Skin Care will continue to strive to keep it that way.
Bye for now!