From Seattle, WA to San Diego, CA — the West Coast has been making big strides in the Fair Trade and Sweatfree movements in the last few weeks, so a few congratulations are in order.

Congratulations to the Seattle SweatFree Community for their tireless work to get Seattle to join nine states, 40 cities, and 118 school districts with sweatfree policies. According to SweatFree Seattle, the new policy

“requires sweat-free labor standards and a Code of Conduct for all bidders on City uniform contracts and makes a commitment to protections against slave labor, forced labor, forced overtime, excessive hours, child labor, below-poverty wages, discrimination, harassment, and other types of unfair labor practices.”

Wondering if there is a sweatfree campaign in your community? Find out now.

As someone born in San Diego as well as a graduate of the UC system, I would like to congratulate the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) who just recently adopted what is said to the be the “strongest Fair Trade policy in the United States.” For the past five years, student advocates have been campaigning to get the University to make a commitment to promote Fair Trade products throughout the campus. According to the new policy, all future food vendor contracts at UCSD are “mandated to require 100% Fair Trade Coffee, Fair Trade Tea and Fair Trade Sugar at all locations on campus.”

According to Student Sustainability Collective (SSC) Director of Food Policy, Jared Muscat,

“Fair Trade is an important part in the category of food sustainability and to have this policy makes the numbers our university strive for not only look realistic, but possible to push further.”

It looks like the SSC also has their sights set on pushing their Fair Trade University campaign to not only be UC-wide, but also to be a national one.

Interested in turning your school into a Fair Trade one? Let the United Students for Fair Trade be your guide.

Gooo Fair Traaaade!

A final congratulations goes out to my fellow Bay Area Fair Trade Coalition buddies in Berkeley as they successfully became the 19th Fair Trade Town just yesterday.

The Fair Trade Berkeley steering committee had been working with the City Manager’s office to craft a “Best-in-Class” Fair Trade Town Resolution and City Ordinance. According to the resolution, the city would

“commit to purchasing fair trade products when they’re readily available, city-standard compliant, and competitively priced.”

The city would also be part of ongoing Fair Trade education efforts and take an active role in weighing in on Fair Trade issues.

In the first Berkeley City Council meeting where the Fair Trade Berkeley steering committee presented the resolution, Global Exchange’s own Carolyn Gravely at the GX Fair Trade Berkeley Store prepared testimony to the City Council on Berkeley’s strong interest in being a Fair Trade Town. In typical Bay Area fashion, a celebration will be taking place in August to mark this tremendous victory.

Feeling inspired? Turn your town into the next Fair Trade Town.

Congratulations to the all the Fair Traders and SweatFree Communities out there for pushing the movements even further!