Monthly Archives: August 2007

Grinding the Numbers on Fair-Trade Coffee


My ethics make me an ideal candidate to be a big fan of fair-trade products. But, truth be told, I could use a little more fair and a little more trade brewed into my coffee, sweetened with a real sense that I’m getting my money’s worth of beans.

I’m as much a capitalist as anyone, but I believe the first rule of responsible capitalism is do no harm. When it won’t completely bust the budget, I shop with an eye on the big picture. (more…)

Media and Music for a Better World: Festival Promotes Third World Arts

- The Boston Globe

LOWELL – During the days when Boston reggae fans knew her by her radio personality alter ego “Iriela,” deejay Valerie Parker said she grew so inspired by the “unifying, uplifting” spirit of the music that she traveled to Jamaica to begin documenting its evolution in her film “Reggae Revolution” in 1998.  Her experiences in rural, urban, and ghetto communities exposed her to economic disparities and inequities that she continues to combat today as executive director (more…)

Want to give your child only educational, lead-free toys that weren’t made in a sweatshop? Industry watchers and parents say you have your work cut out

- The Toronto Star

For the first few years of his daughter’s life, John-Justin McMurtry kept a pretty good lid on the kinds of toys she played with. (more…)

A Holiday Gift That Gives: Divine Chocolate Offers Americans a Way to Play a Powerful Role in Ending Poverty in West Africa

- PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ — Divine Chocolate today announced three new products perfect for gift giving this holiday season. The first farmer- owned, Fair Trade chocolate company, Divine’s innovative business model is changing the chocolate industry by empowering farmers and delivering more benefits from the booming US chocolate market directly back to cocoa growers in Ghana. (more…)

Nonprofit Organization Spearheads Consumer Campaign for Fair Trade Fruit


WASHINGTON — Claiming that U.S. grocers lag far behind their European counterparts in making Fair Trade bananas available, nonprofit organization Co-op America here is organizing what it calls “tens of thousands” of U.S. consumers to put pressure on major national and independent grocery store operators to carry the fruit.”Even though Fair Trade tropical fruits have been available in the U.S. since 2004, they are relatively rare in the U.S.,” said Co-op America Fair Trade program coordinator Yochanan Zakai in a statement. “In Europe, where Fair Trade fruit has been available since the mid-1990s, sales of such bananas have been growing at a rate of about 50 percent a year. It’s time for U.S. grocers to start making available Fair Trade bananas and other fruit.” (more…)

Starting Out: Ways To Do Your Share

- Wall Street Journal

Many twentysomethings want to do something positive for the world but don’t have large sums to give to charitable organizations whose efforts they admire.

Beyond giving what you can, though, there are numerous other ways, small and large, that you can reach out to address problems such as poverty and global warming.


America Runs on Fair Trade Dunkin’


Dunkin’ Donuts has never broadcast the fact that all its espresso, cappuccinos, and lattes are 100 percent-certified fair trade. Till now, that is, if you can call placing a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fair-trade sticker on its store doors tooting its own horn.

In this age of corporate-social-responsibility initiatives and greenwashing, this relatively demure PR stance borders on mindboggling. One coffee giant would be screeching this fact from the mountaintops, or, at the very least, the Columbia (more…)