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Fair Trade in the White House

michelle_obama_farmers-mktBy Zarah Patriana

I don’t need to drink the Kool-Aid to know that Michelle Obama is incredible. Princeton University for undergrad, Harvard for Law School, former associate at a law firm, a former Executive Director at the University of Chicago Hospitals, former Associate Dean at University of Chicago, proud mother of two daughters, First Lady of the United States and how could we forget her impeccable fashion sense and those arms. A strong, intelligent woman with credentials to back it up.

Yes, I’m a big fan of Mrs. Obama. So, when I heard about the campaign appealing to the First Lady to Fair Trade the White House I was immediately on board. The goal of the campaign is simple:

We are a grassroots, nonpartisan coalition of Fair Trade organizations, vendors, and consumers whose goal is to cordially invite First Lady Michelle Obama to join the Fair Trade movement by declaring the White House a “Fair Trade Home.”

Michelle already has a good record going at greening the White House.  She’s got the White House kitchen serving only organic foods, started a garden on the South Lawn, pushed for the opening of a Farmer’s Market near the Executive Mansion and even has a colony of bees at the Presidential home providing the First Family and company with honey. So, if one of the main messages here is to encourage ethical and sustainable consumption,  methinks that getting Fair Trade into the White House is an easy next step.

Setting the example of having Fair Trade products in the White House would send the message to the general public that their purchasing habits can “alleviate poverty, reduce inequality, and create opportunities for people to help themselves.”

If anyone can set a good example, it would be Michelle Obama. As the Atlantic recently said about her influence on the people, “It’s like her outfits. When she wears a J. Crew dress, everyone goes out and buys it. It’s going to be the same thing with kale.”

And if she can get people to buy more kale, certainly she can get more people to go Fair Trade.

So, I urge you all to join the campaign to invite the First Lady to Fair Trade the White House and let people know that people producing a product are treated fairly, paid fairly and are being fair to the environment.  Learn more or take action at http://www.fairtradewhitehouse.com/index.htm

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