Author Archives: Kate

Ballston Spa supports Fair Trade effort

- Schenectady Gazette, NY

If you get a cup of joe or pot of tea here, the village wants the people who picked the coffee beans or tea leaves thousands of miles away to have gotten a fair deal.

The Village Board is backing a campaign to declare Ballston Spa a “Fair Trade Town” by the standards of the international Fair Trade Towns movement.

“I think it’s truly the right thing to do. The principles and concepts of fair trade are admirable,” said Mayor John P. Romano. (more…)

San Rafael mom creates safe and fair-trade baby goods

- Marin Independent-Journal, CA

Hillary Sciarillo is a young San Rafael mother whose business is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of women on the other side of the globe.

Her three-year-old enterprise, Yellow Label Kids, is a line of toys, clothing, accessories and party supplies that has been growing quickly with sales of as much as $200,000 anticipated for 2008.

All of the items she sells - in retail stores, online and by catalog - are made by women from two collectives in Bangladesh. Sciarillo designs all of the concepts and has patterns made and sent to the organizations. (more…)

In the business of fair trade

- Petaluma Argus Courier, CA

In Lebanon, Noelle Marshall says people are warm and giving, that front doors are always open and children can go off on their own for several towns over. She takes these childhood principles and pours it into her new store, Petaluma’s first exclusively fair trade establishment. (more…)

World record of the World’s Largest Fairtrade Coffee Break to Finland


Finland broke the record for the World’s Largest Fairtrade Coffee Break on 21.10.2008 between 2 - 3 pm. The aim was to collect more than 50 000 participants and break the record set by Fair Trade Resource Network and Fair Trade Towns USA: 12 158 participants in the United States in May 2008. The population of Finland is merely 5.3 million people but Finland easily broke the record with 52 061 people enjoying Fairtrade products. The event was the launch and main event of Fairtrade Weeks 2008. (more…)

Green, fair trade gifts grow more popular this holiday season

- Chicago Tribune

Forget slashing prices. What picky shoppers want this holiday season are gifts with meaning.

So merchants are scouting for items that are environmentally or socially responsible, whether that means produced locally, often with recycled material, or made in accordance with fair trade standards, which require that workers are paid a living wage in safe conditions.

From natural fibers to fair-trade

- New Mexico Business Weekly, NM

All good things must come to an end.

At least, that’s how Melinda Rand Kenefic was feeling two years ago when she saw a precipitous drop in sales at Celebro, the Nob Hill clothing store she and her husband, George Kenefic, opened in 1991.

The business, which featured natural fiber clothing — originally for larger-sized women, and later, for men and children — had steadily been producing about $375,000 in annual revenue for more than a decade. Equally important to Rand Kenefic, the loyal consumers who frequented the shop had become “a sort of support group,” one that shared everything from births and divorces to job changes, she says. (more…)

El Cerrito man helps coffee farmers blossom

- San Francisco Chronicle

El Cerrito resident Paul Rice stands at the edge of a dirt road, overlooking the volcanic peaks and adobe homes of this small Nicaraguan town near the border with Honduras.

“Twenty years ago, on this road - at this time of day, at this time of year - I would be worrying right now. You wouldn’t want to be here,” Rice said.

Rice arrived in Nicaragua in 1983 at a time when the U.S.-sponsored Contra war (1981-1988) was raging against the leftist government of the National Sandinista Liberation Front. A 23-year-old college graduate, he came to study land reform and cooperative organizations in the northern city of Chinandega. (more…)

UN calls food summit in 2009, hopes for fair trade

- Reuters South Africa

The world should hold a food summit in the first half of next year to seek fairer trade and help farmers in poor countries make a decent living, the head of the United Nations food agency said on Wednesday.

Jacques Diouf, head of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), said the summit would seek to reform trade, encourage greater food production in developing countries and ensure funding for infrastructure and agricultural productivity.

“I have just put the idea (of holding a food summit) to U.S. President-elect Barack Obama in my message of congratulations,” he told the body’s governing conference. (more…)

Rwanda Baskets Offer Affordable Holiday Gifts That Change Lives

- MarketWatch

Consumers looking for an affordable, personal gift this holiday season can also change lives by purchasing handmade baskets, trays or Christmas tree ornaments from the Rwanda Basket Company (RBC), a Seattle-based company working to directly improve the lives of hundreds of impoverished Rwandan women who survived the horrific genocide in 1994. (more…)

Market emphasizes fair trade, craftsmanship

- Dekalb Daily Chronicle, IL

Laura Kettner places a great deal of importance of individualism and environmental respect.

“The world has so much commercialism that you need to assert yourself however you can,” the Sycamore resident said Saturday while crocheting a purse out of plastic grocery bags.

She was one of 14 vendors selling her handmade crafts – skirts made of neckties, as well as jewelry and scarves – at The Uncommon Market hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb. (more…)