Well.ca staffer Michelle recently sat down for a chat with Camino, a fair trade chocolate company owned by the Ottawa-based La Siembra Co-operative. Camino is a company about connecting the dots between the food we eat and where it comes from.
Can you explain how fair trade works, and how Camino operates differently from big corporations?
Fair trade really focuses on community. Isolated, small scale farmers often do not know anything about selling their product, like what the price of beans would in the international market. In order to get fair trade certification, they have to come together as a co-operative. This gives them more opportunities for knowledge and accountability. Once they are registered with the Fair Trade International, Camino can work with them. Fair trade is about transparency, long term commitment, and knowing who you work with.
If you could share one thing with readers, what would it be?
First, I would tell them to pay attention to who is behind the product. When a big corporation that is not fair trade has a fair trade product, it is good for awareness but what are their motives? Camino is about more than this, because our motives are about social justice, sustainable communities, and the environment, more than just about what looks profitable or trendy.
Also, I would say to support your local farmers, gardens and communities here. Increasingly the fair trade movement is focusing on local fair trade. When organic, fair trade items cannot be found at the local level (like cocoa beans since they don’t grow here), support farmers in other countries.
Well.ca is proud to stock and ship Camino products for our customers, and to employ great people like Michelle. And by the way, Michelle’s favourite Camino bar is the Bittersweet Chocolate Bar. For a list of the Camino products available from Well.ca click here.
This post is also perfectly timed, as Michelle has informed me that the Camino Snack Bars have just gone live on Well.ca. Personally, I had no idea that the Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Snack Bar existed – needless to say there are already ten in my shopping cart.