Wednesday, July 29, 2009

fair trade tobacco?

a few years ago, I was asked if I knew of anywhere a colleague might be able to procure fair trade tobacco from - and it got me thinking: why not?

1) Fair Trade producers are inevitably organised as marketing or agricultural co-ops, and there's at least one tobacco growers co-op (in Tanzania - scroll down to the bottom of this linked page to find their contact details)

2) There seem to be lots of 'lifestyle' goods gaining the fair-trade label beyond food - fashion clothing, footballs...

3) An ethical dilemma? Well, to my knowledge the Fair Trade foundation who administers the mark have no stated restrictions as to the types of goods that they can't assure on the basis of ethics

So why not fair trade tobacco?
For the sake of all those smokers who want to be more ethical, let’s help them at least change the impact they have on poverty through the 'lifestyle choices' they've made (just like we do for those people who can't quite kick their love of chocolate or alcohol in the form of wine...)


  1. There is an 'ethically sourced' tobacco, or at least brand of cigarettes, using tobacco sourced from Malawi and manufactured into cigarettes by American First Nations workers who have a stake in their working environments. They did try to get official Fairtrade status for the product, but tobacco was deemed too 'politically sensitive' to certify. See

  2. I appreciate your post, thanks for sharing the post, i would like to hear more about this in future