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Navitas Organics Blog

Why Every Day Is World Fair Trade Day at Navitas Organics

Posted by Megan Faletra on May 11, 2018 4:12:00 AM

World Fair Trade Day is an initiative that the World Fair Trade Organization created to help celebrate fair trade practices around the world. Here at Navitas Organics, we are excited to celebrate World Fair Trade Day today and every day, as we continuously work to change the status quo of our global food system by being a part of giving small-scale farmers and workers in developing countries access to safe working conditions and fair wages. We want to be leading voices in supporting a sustainable global food system that supports the health of both people and planet.

What Does Fair Trade Mean?
Fair trade, as the name suggests, is working to make global trade fairer for all people involved. It focuses on improving working conditions, increasing wages for farmers and workers, and making the process of global trade more transparent. Overall, fair trade is working to eliminate child labor and unsafe/unethical working conditions, while improving environmentally friendly production practices.

How Is Fair Trade Different from Organic?
While fair trade and organic have some overlapping values, fair trade focuses more on the ethical treatment, labor, safety and wages of the people creating or growing our consumer goods. Organic, on the other hand, focuses more on the environmental and safety standards surrounding farming practices and the use of potentially harmful chemicals like pesticides.

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Topics: education, farmers, information, agriculture, blog, fairtrade, food, foods, health, healthy, sustainability, trade

Why Farmer Autonomy Matters: Part Two

In part one, I introduced Loren Cardelli, president and co-founder of A Growing Culture (AGC), to provide some background and education on what his amazing organization does to support our farmers. In the conclusion of this interview, I ask some hard-hitting questions about what potential their work has for our food system and how we can make a difference as consumers.

MD: Given that a majority of your work is in rural areas internationally, what challenges do you face in spreading the knowledge about effective farming techniques? How does a farmer in Kenya learn from a farmer in Peru when they’re so disconnected from any form of technology?

LC: That’s one of the reasons why we share information both digitally and analogue. We are building one of the largest networks of participatory agricultural organizations that put farmers first. By doing this, we can reach out to these organizations and they become the arms that extend out of the digital community to the analogue. So, there is a digital connection there, but there’s also face-to-face knowledge sharing that we organize and support. This project isn’t just digitally focused – it’s not a technical solution for low tech, it’s a network and community that uses digital connection as just one of their tools. So, when a farmer in Kenya wants to share a technique with a farmer in Vietnam or Bolivia, that technique is not exactly replicated, but rather, it’s adapted, modified and built upon by the farmers in these other countries. This is the constant evolution of ideas and innovation that we’re trying to create.

MD: Do you see changes, systems or procedures internationally that you think could work for the United States’ food system?

LC: Absolutely. We received funding this past Fall for a project in Vietnam regarding pig farming. It’s an innovation in which the pig farmer creates a living, fermented bedding for the hogs (“living” means that it’s populated by indigenous microorganisms and bacteria that are thriving). It’s not a sterile, bleached environment, but rather a bedding material of carbon materials including rice, husks, wood chips and straw, which is then inoculated and alive. The urine and feces of the pigs are immediately broken down and digested by this community, so there’s no runoff or waste. This technique can be adapted and used even in industrial systems in North Carolina, Iowa, Canada, Switzerland or China, as well as by smallholder systems in Vietnam and other countries worldwide. We’re so excited about the scalability of this specific technique and its application in other areas.

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Topics: education, farmers, information, agriculture, blog, food, foods, health, healthy, sustainability

How We’re Facing Social Injustice Head On

Posted by Loren Cardeli on Feb 20, 2018 2:27:00 AM

Our food system is not broken.
In fact, global food production continues to steadily increase at a rate faster than population growth. We produce 17% more food per person today than we did 30 years ago – enough to feed more than 10 billion people!

Food System Challenges
But, there’s a catch. Food produced is different than food delivered. Although we produce enough food for 10 billion people, a staggering one-third of that food is wasted. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.2 billion people are malnourished and more than 795 million are severely hungry when they don’t need to be. What’s more, a majority of those starving are farmers.

Our current food system exploits the individuals and systems it purports to serve, and the outcome is destabilization on both social and environmental spheres. Neither the smallholder farmer in Peru who grows Cacao nor the chicken farmer under contract in Arkansas has the autonomy they deserve. Instead, our food system is designed to consolidate control of production. Four companies presently control over 75% of the world's grain production, and factory farms account for 72% of poultry production and 55% of pork production.

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Topics: farmers, agriculture, blog, cacao, social, superfoods

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