There are many ways to take action in campaigns for Fair Trade — from taking a minute or two to sign a key petition to organizing in your town or place of worship to bring Fair Trade to your community.
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Trade Policy Advocacy
The most powerful rules governing conventional trade, including parts often considered unjust, unfair, and unsustainable, are trade agreements among countries. Visit the following organizations to learn more about current actions to reform unfair trade policies in N. America and the world. One major campaign in 2012 is to end secret negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership, which would become the largest “free trade” agreement in world. More at:
Raise the Bar!, Hershey
Raise the Bar, Hershey! campaign is urging Hershey’s to get child labor out of its chocolate. For too long The Hershey Company has trailed behind its competitors when it comes to ensuring its chocolate products are made without the use of forced and child labor.
The majority of the world’s cocoa (Hershey’s supply included) comes from West Africa, a region plagued by labor abuse in the the cocoa sector. There are ways to prevent these abuses from happening, including independent, third-party certification. While a number of chocolate companies have committed to certification for all or a majority of their products, Hershey lags behind.
A campaign is calling on Hershey to Raise the Bar when it comes to cocoa sourcing so that all Hershey Bars can be child-labor free. More at:
Call on Congress to Support Fair Farm Policies in the US
The United States Farm Bill was originally designed as a security system for American farmers when the market collapsed during the Great Depression. Today, however, the Farm Bill disproportionately distributes government payments to large-scale farmers, while the majority of farmers receive very little or nothing at all. The legislation also encourages the overproduction of certain crops, notably cotton and rice, which is devastating for small farmers around the world.
Get Involved in World Fair Trade Day!
World Fair Trade Day, annually the 2nd Saturday in May, is an international celebration and promotion of Fair Trade. In N. America,businesses, nonprofit organizations, churches, student groups, civic associations, stores and activists host around 1000 events – including Fair Trade food tastings, talks, music concerts, fashion shows and much more – to promote Fair Trade and campaign for trade justice together with farmers & artisans.
Many communities are celebrating World Fair Trade Day a few days before or after the 2nd Saturday in May. WFTD is the largest Fair Trade event in N. America, with over 100,000 people having participated in 2012.
Host a Fair Trade Event with Friends & Coworkers
Have fun organizing a Fair Trade event, such as food & drink tastings, craft shows, film showings, music jams, soccer games and fundraisers. Use the following resources to plan, publicize and produce your Fair Trade celebration:
Bring Fair Trade to Your Town… or City… or Village
This nationwide initiative connects grassroots Fair Trade activists across the country. Through the Fair Trade Towns program, Fair Traders working locally to promote Fair Trade have the opportunity to share their experiences and tools with one another. The Fair Trade Towns initiative also offers guidance and resources for communities seeking to declare themselves to fulfill the Fair Trade Town criteria. Check out www.fairtradetownsusa.org for more information.
Bring Fair Trade to Your School