We have all heard the terms organic, sustainable, and Fair Trade. We may (sort of) understand what they mean and even actively search for brands to consume that follow these practices… but… we bet you have never thought about Fair Trade when it comes to the alcohol you drink?
Let us introduce you to the exciting world of Fair Trade spirits - a movement strongly and passionately lead by a team of people behind the World’s first Fair Trade Certified spirits brand – FAIR.
Who is FAIR.?
“We are an independent spirits brand, dedicated to high quality products that are sourced ethically and sustainably.” – FAIR.
FAIR. doesn’t just follow the norm, they try to lead by example; They deliver high-quality products while they try to inspire and change the world by building an ethical and sustainable company.
They travel all over the world to source the best Fair Trade ingredients for their spirits, and they firmly believe that all of the people involved, in every single stage of the process, should be treated equally.
They respect about 200 rules to make sure that they pay the farmers at a fair price, enabling them to cover their production and farming costs, educate their children and build schools.
When we heard that Paul Bungener, FAIR’s Global Ambassador, was in Sydney recently we had to meet up with him to learn more about his work with FAIR.
Originally from the South of France and with a background in retail, it was a 4-month backpacking trip around South East Asia that Paul says made him want to be a part of something bigger.
Paul first met Alexandre Koiransky – the founder of FAIR. – 10 years ago with a limited knowledge of spirits but “strong belief in what he was trying to do”. However, it is clear that changing and educating the markets perception and understanding of what sustainability means and the importance of the Fair Trade movement would be a challenge.
“One of the issues is that most people do not know about fair trade spirits – they just don’t think it is something that is available – they do not know it can be done”
“When you look back to 10 years ago, you wouldn’t have heard the Fair Trade language. People didn’t know what it meant… Nobody really understood the message, but we kept fighting hard and never gave up on spreading it to make sure that it was recognised as our core value. We will never lose sight of that” – Paul Bungener
So, what does it mean to be Fair Trade?
Fair Trade advocates for better working conditions and improved terms of trade for farmers and workers in developing countries. It’s about supporting the development of thriving farming and worker communities to have more control over their futures, and protecting the environment in which they live and work.
But really Fair Trade is an opportunity to connect with the people who grow the products that we all depend on – and it's through brands like FAIR. and the businesses and customers who support them, that allows this to happen.
“One thing we have always worked very hard on is to find the right companies – especially when it comes to importation and distributing the products in other countries – Gregoire (from Noble Spirits) worked with us because he believed in the story, he didn’t do it because he only liked the product or because we gave him some money or marketing support. That’s why he has named it ‘Noble Spirits’, because he sees the purpose and the impact we can bring to this industry.” – Paul Bungener
But as Paul says, it’s not just their sustainable approach that has allowed them to get to where they are today, but also their deliverance of a super high quality product that enables them to stand out from the rest.
“The quality has always been the reason about why we have been able to grow and why I am able to be here today.” – Paul Bungener
It is clear that Fair Trade is not a trend. People in today’s society want to live a more sustainable life.
But it's easy to find yourself being overwhelmed by ethical choices and the amount of important issues to support and consider. I know I do. Plastic waste, food prodution and waste, palm oil production, land clearance, fossil fuels and dirty energy and the ways it is all contributing to climate change and animal and human welfare.
It’s about making educated choices and being conscious about knowing where the things we consume come from, who made them and where.
As Paul says,
“To be concerned about what is going on in other countries and around the world and realising that rather than just talking about it around the table or over a coffee because you watched the news this morning… its instead asking yourself what are you doing about it? There is so much you can do.” – Paul Bungener
Let's just say that making the switch to Fair Trade spirits is a good start…
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