Monthly Archives: April 2008

The friction between the fair-trade and local-first movements

- Charleston City Paper

Food shopping has never been more political than it is now. Beyond the clutter of brands vying for consumers’ attention in any grocery store aisle, deep social movements are at play, and marketers are keen to exploit their ideas to slap an additional 30 cents on a price tag. Eat organic. Buy local. Help children in Africa get access to clean drinking water. Support Lowcountry shrimp. The consumer is more powerful than ever, and at times, also more confused. (more…)

Changing the world one purchase at a time

- Daytona Beach News Journal Online

Imagine being able to help fight poverty by shopping. Members of the Fair Trade Federation have taken that idea and turned it into a network of businesses that offers products from sources that directly benefit workers in impoverished nations.

On May 10, people in 70 countries will mark World Fair Trade Day to highlight the importance and advantages of fair trade. The event will include an attempt to break the record for the world’s biggest coffee break, a feat designed mainly to bring more attention to the cause. (more…)

Local Fair Trade startups hit hard by economy

- The Capital Times, Madison, WI

Madison’s Fair Trade clothing company is feeling the economic pinch.

In an early April e-mail message to customers, Fair Indigo co-founder and CEO Bill Bass asked for help, saying the company’s bank is “looking for some reassurance.”

“We are a young company and with stories about the poor economy making headlines, our bank is looking for some reassurance that customers who have supported our fair trade mission for the past two years will continue to do so — that fair trade is not a passing fad,” wrote Bass in the message. (more…)

Taos earns fair trade town designation


TAOS, N.M.—Taos has been designated a fair trade town.
Taos town councilors approved a fair trade resolution in February and enacted guidelines to prepare for the designation, which was announced this week.

“Right now, it’s of a nascent concept here,” said Steve Gloss of Sustaining Cultures, a Taos educational organization that runs a gallery of crafts from around the world. (more…)

EarthFair participants display eco-enthusiasm

- The Union-Tribune, San Diego

 BALBOA PARK – Thousands of people saw varying shades of green at EarthFair yesterday at Balboa Park – and it seemed like all of them came in their cars.

On a cool, cloud-free day, the 19-year-old festival that organizers call the largest environmental fair in the world probably lived up to its billing. Traffic backed up for miles on state Route 163 before noon with visitors trying to reach the fair.

When people finally arrived, they found showcases for green technologies, artwork made from recycled materials, a children’s parade, live music and “The Cleaner Car Concourse,” featuring vehicles that run on alternative fuels. (more…)

Fair Trade products increasing in U.S. towns

- The Daily O'Collegian

Finding a politician with a clean conscious may be harder than finding a Brazilian who is bad at soccer.

However, at least six mayors in the U.S. can say they are doing an honest action just by sipping their coffee every morning.

They know the coffee they’re drinking comes from a non-exploitative factory and they are helping an underdeveloped country come out of poverty one cup at a time.

Northampon, Mass., became the sixth “Fair Trade Town” in the U.S. last Thursday. From now on, Northampon City Council will encourage residents to buy and sell products that come from labor and environmentally friendly practices, and are guaranteed a fair price for the costumer and the producer. (more…)

John Oliver from Daily Show Supports Fair Trade

- Comedy Central

John Oliver is a regular reporter on America’s leading comedy news program on Comedy Central. In his stand-up routine, he discusses Fair Trade and the alternatives. Check it out.

Northampton Becomes the 6th Fair Trade Town in the USA


NORTHAMPTON, MA – Northampton Fair Trade Committee is proud to announce that Northampton, Massachusetts, has become the 6th Fair Trade Town in the USA with the unanimous passing of the “Buy Local, Buy Fair” Resolution at the City Council meeting Thursday night.

The Fair Trade Towns movement began in the UK in 2001 as a way to promote awareness of how fairly traded products make a difference in the lives of producers and their communities by providing them with a fair, living wage for their work. Since then, over 300 communities worldwide have become Fair Trade Towns, but the movement is just getting started in the United States. (more…)

Dramatic growth seems on the horizon for fair-trade products

- The Union-Tribune, San Diego

ANAHEIM – Anthony Marek sounded optimistic, but he had his reasons: 1.4 million of them.

“Fair-trade certification is the next value-add,” he said in fluent Marketese. “It is the future.”

Certification also ensures that crops are raised without pesticides or forced child labor; that workers are represented in democratically elected councils; and that these councils invest dividends in health clinics, wells, schools and other improvements. (more…)

Plan for fair trade stock exchange

- The Times, UK

Fair trade brands and ethical enterprises – such as Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen – could be listed on a new “social stock exchange” under plans being drawn up by the government.

Ministers are working on proposals for an ethical investment bank, supported by hundreds of millions of pounds lying in dormant bank accounts, and a stock exchange where social enterprises and environmental ventures raise cash. (more…)