One reason that sourcing local products as ingredients for our cheese is so important to us at Avellana is because we believe in fair compensation for work done in fair conditions. When a product is produced in far away countries with minimal laws protecting workers, it is easy for human rights to fall through the cracks. Buying local is often more expensive, mostly because the labor involved in making the product has not been artificially reduced at the cost of quality of life for the the laborer.
Human beings are a members of the animal kingdom and as vegans, we at Avellana support the rights of animals. All living beings deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation. Buying local or fair trade certified products can help ensure these rights are being honored.
We purchase hazelnuts directly from Meridian Hazelnut Orchard in Aurora, Oregon. We’ve visited the orchard and met the family that grows all the hazelnuts we use.
We purchase most of our spices from Mountain Rose Herbs, a company that takes great pride in their trade policies. They are certified by the Institute for Marketecology’s Fair for Life program, a program that goes deeper than traditional fair trade programs by requiring and tracking ethical practices from the starting point of the product all the way to the finished salable item. From their website:
WHAT IS GOOD TRADE?
- Fair Price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
- Fair Labor Conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
- Direct Trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
- Democratic and Transparent Organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
- Community Development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement training, and organic certification.
- Environmental Sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.
At Avellana, we believe in treating the inhabitants of our world with kindness and compassion and we strive to ensure that our products reflect that belief.