Great News! Today’s LA Times travel section featured Reality Tour’s Fair Harvest journey to Nicaragua.  On behalf of Reality Tours I’d like to say thank you to their staff and editors for covering our alternative and fair trade focused tours.  As you can see in their article ,we are bringing people to understand Nicaragua, its history and people, while creating the opportunity for our partners to share their stories about why fair trade matters. Our Fair Harvesters live with a cooperative member families and work alongside the farmers to harvest coffee, for an alternative “service learning” or voluntourism vacation. The intention behind our Fair Harvest tour is to immerse you into the daily lives of small-scale farming families and enhance your understanding of what Fair Trade means to producers.

In today’s world economy, where profits rule and small-scale producers are left out of the bargaining process, farmers, craft producers, and other workers are often left without resources or hope for their future. Fair Trade helps exploited producers escape from this cycle and gives them a way to maintain their traditional lifestyles with dignity. Fair Trade has helped farmers provide for their families’ basic needs and invest in community development; however, these farmers are still selling most of their crop outside of the Fair Trade system because not enough companies are buying at Fair Trade prices.

Global Exchange has been organizing Fair Trade Campaigns and introducing consumers to Fair Trade products for over twenty years in our Global Exchange stores.  Last year, Reality Tours began a close collaborative partnership with TransFair USA.  We are honored to partner with them and support the incredible work they are doing around the world. Reality Tours has expanded our Fair Harvest series of trips into fair trade communities in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, India, Israel, Mexico, Nepal,  Nicaragua and Palestine (and can customize them in many other places of course!).  Personally, cultivating my relationship with Transfair USA and engaging with their passionate, intelligent staff I have a profound new appreciation for what certification means. I place great value on the “Fair Trade Certified” label on Fair Trade Products and I know that certification ensures that workers are paid fair wages, are free from abusive labor practices, and use environmentally sustainable methods.

Thanks LA Times for reminding the traveler that we have many travel options. You can travel “Fairly” so put your travel dollars where your values are!