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Conflict, Fair Trade Label Boost Sales of Palestinian Produced Olive Oil
Sarah Kuck, 2 Mar 09

Canaan Fair Trade

Palestinian olive oil, the first olive oil in the world to be awarded the Fair Trade label, is increasing in popularity since the conflict in Gaza, according to the chair of the Palestinian Fair Trade Association (PFTA). Nasser Abufarha recently told Mark Tran of the Guardian (click here for audio) that the Fair Trade certification has increased farmer income and widened distribution for the Palestinian producers, helping the workers in the war-rocked region sustain themselves and their community.

Socially-conscious soap company Dr. Bronner's helped to fund the certification from the IMO. Dr. Bronner's has been sourcing 90 percent of its olive oil needs through relationships with the PFTA and Canaan Fair Trade, a Palestinian trading firm, since 2007.

Success stories like this help us to understand why backstory labels, such as those that signify fair trade, are essential tools in bright green business: they give us a global lens with which to examine our seemingly mundane decision-making processes. Perhaps Palestinian olive oil doesn't fit into your low carbon diet, or your economic downturn budget, but I can't think of an easier way to help support others than to spend a little extra on products you are already planning to purchase. And others, especially in the UK, are feeling the same way. Harriet Lamb of the Fairtrade Foundation said sales of fairly traded goods are up by 43 percent.

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