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This post was originally published at UUSC’s online store, The Good Buy. All proceeds from The Good Buy support our social justice programs. Together, we’ve accomplished good things like building homes in Haiti, monitoring water contamination in Guatemala, empowering women in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake, and more.

Fair Trade is not about charity or handouts; put simply, it’s a process of making a truly fair exchange for the goods we buy. Fair trade is a way of doing business that keeps small farmers and artisans as active participants in the global marketplace. It empowers consumers to make purchases that align with their values.

The voluntary actions adhered to along the supply chain—from producers to buyers—are designed to support many economic, social, and environmental goals. Some examples include raising and stabilizing the incomes of small-scale farmers, farm workers, and artisans; equitably distributing economic gains, advancing democratically controlled and owned producer organizations; promoting safe working conditions; and much more!

What you need to know about fair trade

Start here with the short video below explaining fair trade’s role in sustainability, then follow The Good Buy’s blog all this month as we explore fair trade topics from apparel and accessories to food and more!

Now that you know all the good that fair trade can do, go get some delicious fair trade snacks and make a real difference in the lives of small farmers.