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Equal Exchange Introduces Comprehensive Fair Trade Curricullum

The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire

WEST BRIDGEWATER, MA - January 16, 2008 - In response to hundreds of requests from parents and teachers the Fair Trade pioneer Equal Exchange introduced today one of the first comprehensive Fair Trade curricula in the U.S. “Win Win Solutions: An Introduction to Fair Trade and Cooperative Economics” is designed for grades 4 through 9 and raises awareness of core issues concerning food production and global trade, and of the role of American consumers.

The curriculum helps to demonstrate the link between personal actions and community efforts to create a more just and sustainable world. Win Win Solutions’ four units and 16 classes incorporate participatory methods and satisfy many basic U.S. curriculum standards including Social Studies, Geography, Math, and Economics. Copies may be ordered, and sample pages viewed, online at www.equalexchange.coop/educationaltools

“After 20 years of talking to and educating American coffee drinkers about Fair Trade, it’s time we talked and listened to our kids about Fair Trade,” says Virginia Berman, Equal Exchange Organizing Director.

Another catalyst came from Equal Exchange’s increasing work with schools through its new fundraising program. Last year 200 schools used Equal Exchange’s Fair Trade fundraiser as way to help both their schools and farming communities around the world. The program has received a steady stream of requests for more tools to teach children about Fair Trade.

“The curriculum provides teachers with creative, well-designed lessons to engage kids in the central issues of fairness and equity. From a single activity to a sequence of classes, it allows teachers to select lessons that will best enhance their students’ understanding of Fair Trade.”
-Emily Schnee, education researcher, parent and fundraising organizer at Brooklyn New School, NY

In addition to Fair Trade the curriculum discusses cooperative economics, a vital but little known element of Fair Trade that helps bring democratic and equitable options to commercial activities.

According to 7th grade Social Studies teacher, Nancy Evans, the curriculum is “easy to navigate, and the photos give Fair Trade a human face.”

About Equal Exchange

Founded in 1986 Equal Exchange is the worker co-operative who helped pioneer Fair Trade food and beverages in the U.S. The co-operative has been instrumental in demonstrating Fair Trade’s economic and marketplace viability and has been one of the first to apply Fair Trade in new agricultural sectors such as tea and cocoa. In 2007 they adapted the model for work with U.S. farmers and farmer co-operatives.

MEDIA: review copies of the curriculum and interviews are available upon request

www.equalexchange.coop

For more information please contact:

Rodney North
Equal Exchange
774-776-7398

Sue McGovern
McGovern Communications
781-648-7157

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