Fair Trade vs. Local products for Expats
So now I have converted from restaurants to more self-catering and local/street food. I go to the large supermarket here, Foumi, which is just plain convenient. I have a car, but feel like driving all over town to get the 10 things I want will have a worse impact on the environment/on my budget than just getting it all in one place. Foumi is no doubt for tourists and expats. You can find anything here from clothes, toys, videogames, TVs, and of course groceries (not produce though, which I still buy from the market). This is the place I go when I need sugar, coffee, olives, ice cream, bulk rice or beans, and stuff like that. However, I have found they have a huge selection of "Fair Trade Certified" goods. Just the other day I had some sugar from Ecuador, tea from India, steak from Canada, and Haagen Daas in my cart. Thats when I stopped and was like... what am I doing?
There is local sugar available made in Dakar, Tea from Rwanda, Coffee from Kenya, Salt from here in Mali, steak from.. here in Mali, and store-brand ice cream which I have yet to try. Here I am trying to get the "eco" goods by buying Fair Trade, but completely skipping local products. These local products are often not Fair Trade Certified, but in my opinion I still feel like it's better to put my money back into this economy than sending it across the seas to another one.
Does anyone else relate to this? What do you think? More of an anthropological/economical/philosophical question than general advice, I guess.
I have started to try to buy locally as my first choice. However, when I want something that isn't available as a local product, then I look for something that is free trade.
RyuKamagata wrote:I would buy local, the fair trade certifications are kind of 'ify' and usually marketing.
That is correct in lots of areas, know for a fact this is true with Guatemalean coffee.
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