It’s 7 a.m. in Amado, Arizona, and the sun is rising over the greenhouses of Wholesum Harvest’s tomato farm. Workers trickle up the driveway in their cars. One by one, they hang their coats, wash up, and prepare to begin another hard day’s work. Potters enter the greenhouses to deleaf and prune tomato plants, carefully tending each pot’s liveliest flowers. Bio control teams divide and tackle insects and other pests that like to eat the tomatoes.
On April 24, 2013, as reported in the Independent, Reshma Begum showed up to work at the Rana Plaza garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She and her co-workers were nervous. Cracks had appeared in the walls.
They brought their concern to a manager.
“There is no problem. You do your work,” they were told.
Fair working conditions, safely structured buildings, and worker empowerment are just three of the 354 guidelines Fair Trade USA has structured to rule what makes fair trade clothing, food, home products, and everything else you buy actually fair trade certified. It’s a lot more than just calling an article of clothing fair trade that makes it actually free of unfair labor practices.