Anyone wants FAIR ICE CREAM?

In 2006, Ben & Jerry’s launched the world’s first ever Fairtrade vanilla ice cream and three years later three more of their flavors achieved Fairtrade status (Vanilla Toffee Crunch, Chocolate Macademia and Chunky Monkey). In 2010 six more were certified and by the end of this year every ingredient in each ice cream they produce and sell in Germany that can be Fairtrade certified, will be.

But…What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is about making sure people get their fair share of the pie. – by Jerry Greenfield

Fairtrade is based on a relationship between producers and consumers. It is a way to make sure that farmers at the beginning of the production chain get a fair share of the benefits of trade. Products with the Fairtrade sign assure you that the people who produced the ingredients for it (mostly from developing countries where people are being exploited) get a fair payment for their work and that it’s 100% free of child labor. In Fairtrade the middlemen don’t exist which means that the profit goes straight to the farmers. That is necessary in order to improve their poor work and life conditions.
Fairtrade products are more expensive and that’s why Ben&Jerry’s ice cream is as well. Company’s pay money in order to put the Fairtrade sign on their products. So it is even more incredible that Ben&Jerry’s will have only Fairtrade products in the future because that also means that they will have to increase their expenses a lot. Here, you can read about Ben&Jerry’s motivation for Fairtrade.



Only the best for our cows

At least 50% of the ingredients need to be fairly traded to be allowed to put the Fairtrade sign on the product. But what about the left 50%?
On “Caleb’s Hill”-blog, the blogger writes about Ben&Jerry’s connection to Fairtrade. He concentrates on the ways Ben&Jerry’s supports it and what the company has achieved so far. Since more than half of the ice cream consists of milk, Ben&Jerry’s is interested in where it comes from. So Ben&Jerry’s started several programs to make sure that the small dairies they work with will always be milking happy cows.

One of the programs Ben&Jerry’s has started in 2003 is “Caring Dairy”. It’s an initiative of Ben&Jerry’s, local dairy farmers, WWF and the Netherlands Society for Nature. They draw on a program of continuous improvements to farming practices, to protect the cows, environment and farmer’s livelihood by putting a high value on sustainability. During my research I found a few videos about people working within the Caring Dairy program telling about their experiences and explaining a bit more their activities.


“Tweet, tweet!”

Ben&Jerry’s had another great idea to help promoting Fairtrade and let the world know about it.
This video explains how “Fair Tweets” work:

On fairtweeets.com you can twitter fair tweets and get a little overview on how this works. This actually linked me to a really large number of helpful websites and blogs for my own blogpost here. 

Of course, it is very rare that a company is THAT unselfish…Since there are over 300 million Twitter users worldwide, very numerous people can be reached by this. So through all these fair tweets all these Twitter users get somehow connected to Ben&Jerry’s, so this is a very special and creative way of marketing and making people recognize your name.

In a post named “Fairtrade is Fair”, Calamity Jane talks about her experiences with Fairtrade products. She apparently supports Fairtrade which is good because many people don’t. As she says, IF people care, then they care more about the environment than about human rights.

So, guys…having a pint of Ben&Jerry’s delicious ice cream once in a while is helping poor farmers and people in tdeveloping countries.
Save the human rights! – Eat Ben&Jerry’s!            


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3 Comments

  1. elisafoodle

     /  December 4, 2011

    Hey Ly,
    I think you have chosen very interesting topic for your blog entry as the whole fairtrade concept is – in my opinion – still very unknown and unpopular in Germany compared to other countries like for example Ireland, where you have huge food shops only selling fairtrade products. I think not only the implementation of fair-trade products in German stores but also the willingness of consumers to pay some more money for this kind of products is still at the beginning and has to be developed.
    Due to the good structure your information blog entry was easy to read. I like that you provide some videos that fit very well to and support your text. Well done 🙂

    Reply
  2. Hey Ly!
    Great informative post! Well done!
    The thing I am now wondering about is… who decides what is a “fair payment”?
    Fair Trade seems to be a great thing and all that, but why does it make everything so much more expensive? Just putting this label on your product can’t be the expensive part.
    In my opinion Fair Trade should be fair for both sides, suppliers and consumers. This way it may be good for the suppliers (I’m still not that convinced I can be a 100% sure they will really be better off), but what about the consumers? If they can’t afford the products anymore, the producers will maybe even end up with less than before.

    I think it’s awesome that you’re post made me wonder about all these questions concerning this whole fair trade thing. I’ve never really thought about it that much before.
    Thanks!

    Reply
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