Buyer Be Fair
The Promise of Product Certification
Looks at the benefits of fair trade goods and product certification for people and the environment.
Directed by John de Graaf and Hana Jindrova
Produced by Fox-Wilmar Productions
Executive Producer: Christopher Palmer
Photographed by David Fox
Edited by David Fox & Diana Wilmar
Narrated by Scott Simon
Under the auspices of the WTO, globalization of world trade seems like a juggernaut that will not be stopped. But is there a way to make trade FAIR? How can retailers and consumers use their purchasing power and market choice to make the world better for people and the environment? What is the promise of product certification and labeling?
"It's moving, it's gorgeous, it's engaging, and the viewer feels empowered, not preached to." Frances Moore Lappé, author of "Diet for a Small Planet" and "Hope's Edge"
BUYER BE FAIR looks at two major trade goods -- timber and coffee -- to find out how certification works and whether it helps the world's poor, and their lands. Can the lessons from certification of timber, by the Forest Stewardship Council, and coffee, by Fair Trade, be applied to other products?
BUYER BE FAIR takes viewers to Mexico, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, the USA and Canada, where compelling stories and characters raise and answer these questions in a powerful documentary that explores new ways to make globalization work for all of us.
Other films by John de Graaf are AFFLUENZA, ESCAPE FROM AFFLUENZA, SILENT KILLER: The Unfinished Campaign against Hunger, THE MOTHERHOOD MANIFESTO, BEYOND ORGANIC, ON NATURE'S TERMS, HOT POTATOES, FOR EARTH'S SAKE: The Life and Times of David Brower, DAVID BROWER: A Conversation with Scott Simon, and WHAT'S THE ECONOMY FOR, ANYWAY?.
Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2006
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-347-1
VHS ISBN: 1-59458-346-3
"Buyer Be Fair will have a huge impact. It's moving, it's gorgeous, it's engaging, and the viewer feels empowered, not preached to."
Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet and Hope's Edge
"The film makes one simple point: as consumers we have the power. When we buy products with eco-labels like the Forest Stewardship Council and Fair Trade we really make a difference, for both people and nature."
Barbara Bramble, National Wildlife Federation
"Buyer Be Fair offers an engaging look into one of the hottest topics in today's marketplace. Its straightforward approach illuminates the considerable and increasing power that is in our hands as consumers to have a direct impact on the lives (and environments) of countless people. This film helps people understand WHY to care and WHAT to do."
Daniele Giovannucci, World Bank, Senior Consultant and author of The State of Sustainable Coffee and Coffee Markets: New Paradigms in Global Supply and Demand
"BUYER BE FAIR is an excellent introduction to how fair trade can be a win-win innovation in the marketplace. Students will enjoy the clear exposition, and teachers will find that the documentary opens many doors to classroom discussion. The documentary has two parts- one on coffee and one on lumber- that can be seen and discussed in two separate class sessions."
Michael Kevane, Associate Professor of Economics, Santa Clara University
"As the excellent film BUYER BE FAIR makes clear, fair trade is a win/win situation for both producers and consumers. Now it is a matter of educating consumers about the advantages of fair trade...it will have a significant role in providing that consumer education. I certainly intend to use BUYER BE FAIR here at Patagonia as a teaching tool for our own employees."
Yvon Chouinard, Founder and Director, Patagonia, Inc.
"Buyer Be Fair shows us that our economic decisions need not be made in a moral vacuum; that our purchases in the marketplace are a statement of the type of world we wish to live in. It carefully explains the concept of fair trade and demonstrates the power American consumers could have in transforming the global economy. A must see for every American consumer."
Paul Winters, Dept. of Economics, American University
"As a professor of business and society courses, I am excited about Buyer Be Fair. Fair trade and product certification are two extremely important practices that can link corporations, consumers, and producers together in socially responsible ways to address challenging global issues of poverty, environmental degradation and social justice. Textbook discussions of certification and fair trade are relatively uncommon, and fail to effectively communicate their essence and potential. Buyer Be Fair provides viewers with an understanding of these practices and their importance. This film helps fair trade and product certification move from abstract concepts to real, practical mechanisms for making the world a better place."
Gordon Rands, Associate Professor of Management, Western Illinois University
"A fair, balanced look at certifying timber and other products. It left me wanting to purchase only certified coffee in the future!... [Buyer Be Fair] portrays so well the relationship between economic and environmental sustainability."
Sally D. Collins, Associate Chief, USDA/Forest Service
"This colorful, well-edited program outlines the conundrum of world trade... Classes across the curriculum can utilize [Buyer Be Fair] to examine a lesser-known concept of globalization and the power each consumer has to join the movement for a better world by demanding environmentally friendly certified products."
School Library Journal
"Changing the world, one shopping cart at a time"
"If the purpose of [Buyer Be Fair] is to change people's minds, then this film succeeded. I think it succeeded because it was honest and it showed the real consequences of the choices we make. It is always good to make transparent something that by design or by circumstance has been made murky."
Deborah Schumacher, Food Co-op Newsletter (Port Townsend)
"This film brilliantly demonstrates the impact of certification on the environment, the marketplace, the economy, and the family farmer. This work deserves resounding applause for its enthusiastic, purposeful, and stirring exposition of this burgeoning movement. Buyer Be Fair is welcome viewing for all
Awards and Festivals
Best of Festival List, Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival
Honorable Mention, Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival
Finalist, Harry Chapin Media Awards, World Hunger Year
Finalist, Montana CINE International Film Festival
Finalist, North American Assn for Environmental Education/Albert I Pierce Foundation Film & Video Festival
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
Vermont International Film Festival
Council on Foundations Film & Video Festival
Northwest Sustainability Conference
Aotearoa Environmental Film Festival, New Zealand
Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
American Public Health Association Film Festival
Oneota Film Festival
Forests and Rainforests
Marketing and Advertising
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Many coffee-producing countries like Ethiopia are facing economic disaster even as the demand for coffee increases worldwide.
The Trade Trap
Ghanaian farmers struggle to get a foothold in the international market.
When the Cows Come Home
Despite the success of the "Jamaica Hope" milk cow, Jamaica's dairy industry is facing a crisis, as EU trade undercuts island production.
Diagnoses the "disease" of materialism and prescribes its antidote, simple living.
Escape from Affluenza
Simple living and its rewards.
A leading chef investigates food safety in the age of GMOs and industrial agriculture.
... more Reviews
ages. Highly Recommended."
Michael Coffta, Business Librarian, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Educational Media Reviews Online