For many years it has been my belief that one of the biggest pieces in the puzzle to solve this planets biggest problems is to make the lives better for the poorest people in the world. I believe that the only way we can exterminate poverty, solve the over population, the global warming, etc., is to help the poorest people in the world to make their own living.
I am also convinced that it will not be the politicians or the global companies that will do the necessary work and sacrifices. I am sure of that when it all comes to action, to really do something; it is about you and me. But what can we do? A lot, actually. Much more than we think.
I think it is possible to change the world and be a change in the world. Not in a big way that happens over night but in a small way, piece by piece or person by person we can change the world by very small actions and efforts. And that is what Fair Trade Community is all about.
How It All Began
When I first heard about the Fair Trade movement somewhere in the past I thought it was a great idea but didn't think much more about it or that I would be involved. But life moves on in mysterious ways and I have had the opportunity to see different places in the world, experience different people and cultures and also to live in different countries.
To make a long story short, I came in contact with Fair Trade again in 2008. I came in contact with a man from Bolivia that wondered if we (me and my wife) could help him market and sell his coffee in Asia. He has a really strong desire to help and improve the lives of the poorest coffee farmers in his native country Bolivia as well as other South American countries.
His coffee brand is named "Pueblos Nativos" and it is single origin coffee of finest quality. The Pueblos Nativos coffee is certified both as Fair Trade and organic and is aiming to become CO2 certified.
The Idea Behind Fair Trade Community
At this time I was hooked up and I started to do research about Fair Trade and the idea behind it. I was also creating a website for Pueblos Nativos in Singapore and got some valuable knowledge and experiences about fair trade and how it works. To my surprise, I did see gaps in the chain from producers to consumers that bothered me. It also seemed to me that the chain with information from producers, about producers, etc., was to long and too controlled. And that almost no information travelled the other way. And I think it is important that it does.
It also worries me that a few organisations control the Fair Trade and the information about Fair Trade. There is criticism about the Fair Trade organisations but I believe and am convinced about Fair Trade as an idea to fight poverty.
I am also convinced that if consumers can participate in the information flow with their own views and be able to ask questions it will benefit the Fair Trade idea and especially the poor farmers that it is intended to help in the first place.
I also believe that it is possible to take Fair Trade a step further. To help the farmers with equipment and education so they can refine their own products and sell ready made products and not only commodities. I would like to buy Bolivian coffee cultivated and roasted in Bolivia from a Bolivian website. Then we are talking about real Fair Trade.
The idealist in me had wakened and the idea about a Fair Trade Community where people could meet and discuss without anyone controlling the information was born.
From Idea to Reality
The idea was born almost a year ago but the execution took time. I started right away with the planning and registered the domain names. A little later I started to experiment with the design and tools to use on the site. This took much longer time than I expected, especially when I got quite sick in the middle of the work. But now are we finally here and launching the Fair Trade Community web site slowly and I am very happy about it.
I really hope that my vision to help and inform, to be a Fair Trade resource will bridge the gaps I have seen in the Fair Trade world. But most of all, I really hope that all this work will benefit the people that need it most and that the Fair Trade Community will make a difference for the better.
Founder of Fair Trade Community