October’s Fair Trade Harvest
As nice as it may be to say that we stay eco and always shop local, at some point we are all faced with the prospect of purchasing something made far away that has made its way onto our radar. If you’ve ever wondered about the who and the how of your item’s creation, you’re not alone.
There are organizations that answer those questions by way of respected and recognized labels that translate into fair wages and fair labor for craftspeople around the world. Since October is Fair Trade Month, what better time to learn about how, where, and with what companies you can invest your dollars to make a difference on the global landscape?
Transfair USA, the only independent third-party certifier of Fair Trade goods, has declared October Fair Trade Month. Global Exchange and Co-op America, two organizations that provide Fair Trade-certified goods, are celebrating the season by offering Reverse Trick or Treating kits. Fair Trade chocolates (courtesy Equal Exchange, Alter Eco, and La Siembra) and information cards constitute the kits, which are handed out to Halloween candy distributors at each door you and your kids visit while trick-or-treating.
The free kits went fast this year but you can still participate by:
- Following the tips on the Global Exchange website
- Checking in with a Fair Trade Federation member store serving as a distributor
- Purchasing a Fair Trade Trick or Treat Action Kit from Global Exchange
One of the biggest problems facing the Fair Trade movement is where to find products. If you’re a frequent online shopper, this is not such a problem because Fair Trade products are currently most accessible on the web, though you can also find products at some local stores.
Here is a handful of the best online Fair Trade resources, but don’t take our word for it—read, research, and send us your discoveries!
- Co-op America – general information, products & producer profiles, resources, and action tips
- Etica Wine – FTF member
- Fair Trade Federation – search the members tab by area, name, or type of business
- Fair Trade Labeling Organization
- Global Exchange – during Fair Trade Month, receive a free box of ft chocolate with each purchase
- Organic Style – a Transfair USA partner
- Pangea Collection – during Fair Trade Month, this vendor will donate $1 from each purchase of Fair Trade jewelry to Opportunity International, a non-profit that offers microfinancing for those in developing nations
What else can you do?
- Look for the Fair Trade certified label or the standard Fair Trade logo, both of which appear above. Also look for the standard Fair Trade Federation logo.
- Visit the resource pages above to educate yourself about the ins and outs of Fair Trade so you can help spread the word.
- Look for products in your area, talk with local business owners about carrying them, and host a fair trade house party.