By: Natasha Fritz
One layer of Google Earth that may be particularly interesting for anyone interested in preventing the exploitation of underdeveloped countries is the “Fair Trade” layer of Google Earth. The layer was created by the group TransFair USA, which is the only independent certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. They decide if a U.S. company can display the fair trade symbol on its products. The principles of Fair Trade include fair prices, fair labor conditions, community development, and environmental sustainability. Their goal for this layer is to further inform consumers about fair trade products and allow consumers and companies to see where the free trade products, such as bananas, coffee, or chocolate, are produced and a little about the areas where they are grown.
It also includes a brief description of each organization that is pinpointed on the map. The “Fair Trade” layer is useful for those interested in studying and finding out more about where to buy these commodities from if they want to be guaranteed that the products they are buying were produced in humane and safe conditions with a fair wage being paid to workers.