Oct 3, 2007
Greetings and Happy Fair Trade Month!
If you're looking for ways to celebrate and spread the word about Fair Trade, our latest Guide to Fair Trade is chock full of advice, and is now available as a printed booklet, in addition to an online download. Thanks to all of our members who made an extra contribution to move this popular guide from online to hard copy. It will now go to communities all over the country to accelerate Fair Trade everywhere – and will be available to everyone at our fall Green Festivals™.
What's more, you can now take action to make your town a Fair Trade town, following in the footsteps of towns in Pennsylvania, Vermont, and all across Europe.
If that's not enough, here are three more ways to make trade fair in October:
- Make it a Fair Trade Halloween -- If you hand out candy for Halloween, plan ahead to offer Fair Trade chocolate, a sweet treat that protects people and the planet. Find chocolate companies in our National Green Pages™.
- Take action with your supermarket -- Thousands of Co-op America members have already taken action, and the success reports are starting to roll in. Use Fair Trade month as an opening to talk to your grocer about stocking more Fair Trade products.
- Hold a Fair Trade house party -- Serve Fair Trade snacks, display Fair Trade products from around the world, and make it fun for your guests to pay attention to where things come from. Two of our green business members, Pachamama and A Greater Gift, even offer kits and supplies to make it easy for you.
Thanks so much for all you do, and for celebrating Fair Trade month with us.
Here's to making trade fair,
P.S. If you’d like copies of the printed version of our Guide to Fair Trade, just contact us to order them.
Action: Make Your Town a Fair Trade Town
Last year, when Media, PA became the first Fair Trade town in the US, we reported in our summer Co-op America Quarterly on the Fair Trade town trend in Europe (which has more than 250), and hailed Media as a hopeful new sign for Fair Trade in the US.
Today, we're happy to report that Brattleboro, VT became the second US Fair Trade town over the summer, and what's more, Fair Trade advocates across the country can now turn to our allies at the newly launched Fair Trade Towns USA campaign for help in making their town go Fair Trade.
Launched just yesterday in celebration of Fair Trade month, the new Fair Trade Towns USA Web site offers tips and guidelines for anyone who wants their town to go Fair Trade. To be recognized as a Fair Trade community, Fair Trade Towns USA offers five goals, including formation of a local steering committee, widespread media attention and public support, and passage of a local resolution in support of Fair Trade.
To learn more about the Fair Trade Towns campaign, visit their Web site, and if you help your town go Fair Trade (or take any of the other action steps mentioned above), be sure to tell us about it.
Visit FairTradeTownsUSA.org »
News: Cafe Campesino -- Fair Trade Coffee since 1998
We wrapped up our interview with Tripp Pomeroy last Monday, and then Tripp jumped on a plane to Nicaragua, for one of his many visits during the year to the cooperatives that grow the coffee roasted by his business, Café Campesino. Such close relationships across the supply chain are a hallmark of Fair Trade.
"Café Campesino works directly with small producer cooperatives in Nicaragua, East Timor, Ethiopia, and around the world, to purchase and import some of the best organic green coffee beans in the world," says Tripp. "We then bring the green beans to our headquarters here in Georgia, where we roast 'em to-order and ship 'em out to coffee houses, markets, restaurants, fundraising groups, and individuals all over the country."
Find out how a pile of dirt inspired Tripp and his partners to create Café Campesino (almost a decade ago!) by reading our latest interview.
Read Tripp's green business interview »
Resources: Order print copies of our Guide to Fair Trade
Earlier this summer we told you about our new online Guide to Fair Trade. Now, we're pleased to inform you that we've updated and expanded the guide, and we've printed copies that you can use to educate your friends, family, colleagues, and community, or hand out at local events.
The guide gives you tips for spreading the word about Fair Trade, and resources for finding hundreds of Fair Trade products (wine, sugar, olive oil, sports balls, textiles, crafts, musical instruments, and much, much more) in your own community, or with a simple click of a mouse.
To download a copy of the expanded guide, visit our Fair Trade Web site, or to order copies of the printed version, contact us at email@example.com.
Find Fair Trade resources and
download the guide »
Jul 24, 2007
1. Tea — One of the fastest-growing segements of hte Fair Trade market, US imports of Fair Trade tea increased an impressive 187 percent in 2005. Since then, herbal tea products like chamomile, hibiscus, peppermint, and spearmint have gained Fair Trade status. Tea lovers can find teas bagged, loose, and bottled.
Look for green, black, oolong, chai, rooibos, and much more in the National Green Pages™ »
2. Chocolate — The average American eats 12 pounds of chocolate a year, supporting an industry that saw retail sales of more than $16 billion in 2007. If you're among the 46 percent of Amreicans who say they can't live without chocolate, you can avoid the well-documented problem of child slave labor in the cocoa industry, and direct your share of that $16 billion toward chocolate that helps communities and the environment.
Look for candy bars, baking cocoa, chocolate chips, and more in the National Green Pages™ »
3. Fresh Fruit — In Europe, where Fair Trade fruit has been available since the mid-1990s, Fair Trade bananas have reached a market share as high as 24 percent. In the US, Fair Trade tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, and pineapples became available in 2004, and their availaibility is growing, especially in natural foods stores and food co-operatives. Find a store near you selling Fair Trade fruit by using TransFair USA's store locator.
Sign our letter to major supermarkets asking them to start stocking Fair Trade bananas »
4. Sugar — Phosphorus run-offs from the conventional sugar industry in Florida have devastaed the ecosystem of the Everglades, and the sugar lobby has worked aggressively to avoid responsibility. Sustainabile alternatives to sugar like locally grown, organic maple syrup or honey can help you avoid the problems in the sugar industry, as can Fair Trade Certified™ sugar, introduced to the US in 2005.
Look for Turbinado sugar, ground cane sugar, and more in the National Green Pages™ »
5. Rice — While most of the white and brown rice consumed in the US was grown on US farms, most aromatic long-grain rice comes to our tables from small-scale farms in Asia where it was harvested by hand. Workers on these farms often find themselves squeezed by middle merchants and sickened by pesticides; Fair Trade rice—most of which is also organic—protects both workers and the environment.
Look for Jasmine, coral, Basmati, and more in the National Green Pages™ »
6. Vanilla — Working with a labor-intensive crop that yields a relatively low harvest, vanilla farmers are hard-hit when their market fluctuates, as it has since environmental disasters at key procuction centers in 2000. TransFair USA began certifying vanilla in 2006, and new Fair Trade Certified™ vanilla ice cream from Ben & Jerry's arrived in supermarkets in January 2007, joining their previous Fair Trade coffee and chocolate flavors.
Look for whole beans and vanilla extracts in the National Green Pages™ »
7. Spices — The European Fair Trade certifying body (FLO) approved standards for Fair Trade spices in 2005. In Europe, products like ginger cookies and lemongrass soap have begun to appear with Fair Trade spices among their ingedients, as hopeful sign for the future of Fair Trade spices in the US.
Look for pepper, ginger, lemongrass, nutmeg, and more in the National Green Pages™ »
8. Wine — Introduced to the US market in 2007, Fair Trade wine has been produced in South Africa since 2003, and in Chile and Argentina since 2004. The South African certification process requires vineyard workers to maintain a legally protected minimum 25 percent interest in the winery, in support of the South African government's policies promoting equal land ownerships following Apartheid.
Look for Merlot, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and more in the National Green Pages™ »
9. Olive oil — The Canaan Fair Trade Association uses the fair trade concept to empower marginalized Palestinian rural communities caught in conflict so they can sustain their livelihoods and culture. Farmers are guaranteed a minimum price, and receivea 10 percent Fair Trade premium above market price, plus a 10 percent organic premium above market price.
Look for olive oil (plus capers, almonds, and more) in the National Green Pages™ »
10. Sports balls — When the European Fair Trade certification body (FLO) created standards for soccer ball production in 2002, it was the first time a non-agricultural commodity had received certification. Since then, five Pakistani and Thai producers have achieived certification, ensuring that no child lavor is involved, and that workers receive a living wage in a healthy work environment.
Look for soccer balls, volley balls, and more, in the National Green Pages™ »
11. Arts and crafts — Producers of unique, handmade, artisanal Fair Trade products like jewelry, baskets, textiles, and other handicrafts belong to trade associations that screen for internationally recognized Fair Trade standards. For example, our ally the Fair Trade Federation links low-income producers with consumer marketers that pledge to: pay fair wages in the local context, support participatory workplaces, ensure environmental sustainability and public accountability, and suppply financial and technical support.
Look for Fair Trade craft products in the National Green Pages™ »
12. Coffee — Available since the late 1990s, Fair Trae coffee is the most widespread and recognizable Fair Trade commodity. Currently, it is the fastest-growing segment of the $11 billion US specialty coffee maket, and about 85 percent of Fair Trade coffee is also organic.
Look for Fair Trade coffee in the National Green Pages™ »
Jul 24, 2007 6:07am
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