Indika bells at SF store

Bells at Global Exchange Store in San Francisco store.

 Global Exchange brings surprise treasures into my life. Most recently I had the privilege of being introduced to installation artist Tiffany Singh (Auckland, New Zealand).

About a year ago Tiffany contacted Global Exchange’s SF Store looking for 1000 Fair Trade Bells. We sell beautiful bells from India, in all sizes but she needed more bells than we have in stock; so I connected Tiffany with our bell source, Indika.

In June of this year Tiffany and her camera crew showed up at our SF store. I was fortunate to spend time with this wonderful artist, as she explained how she was going to incorporate the bells into her installation at the Montalvo Arts Centre in Saratoga CA.

Indika Bells

Bells of Mindfulness

The Bells of Mindfulness, proposes to deeply examine the idea of sacred spaces. Drawing on the Buddhist tradition of using temple bells as an aid for mindfulness, Tiffany suspended 1000 Indika bells and 1000 handmade paper cranes attached to brightly colored ribbons, color blocked, from a persimmon tree in Montalvo’s Italianate Garden, creating a tranquil space for rest and reflection. Sourcing the bells from rural artisans in western India, Singh hopes The Bells of Mindfulness will inspire conversations about the importance of better equity in international trade.


 The Bells of Mindfulness is a participatory sculpture. To participate:

  • Go to the persimmon tree in the Italianate garden in Montalvo Arts Center
  • Listen to the bells on the tree.
  • With intention choose your bell.
  • Take the bell to your sacred place.
  • Attach your bell.
  • Send us an audio recording, film clip, or image along with the location of the bell to
  • Follow the journey of the bells at
  • Keep your eye out for bells. If you find one, marking someone’s sacred place, you may remove the bell and go back to step 3.

I had never been to the Montalvo Arts Center. It is a large walking meditation of beautiful paths incorporated in nature with witty, simple and beautiful installations scattered throughout.

I had to look for Tiffany’s persimmon tree, and I was so excited when I finally found the tree with colored string, colored paper cranes and bells hanging from it’s branches.

 I spent a couple hours under the tree, watching, ringing and listening to the bells. I took two fallen bells from the ground and gave one to my friend and the other is hanging in my kitchen, for now.

Seeing my bell reminds me that I value and strive to incorporate art and mindfulness in my daily life.

me and bells

Me looking at the bells.

Bells of Mindfulness   will be up thru October, I encourage you to spend a day at the Montalvo Arts Centre and

enjoy the sights and sounds of nature and art!

Mindfulness is the root of all methods that tame the mind. First it focuses the mind. Then it eases the mind. Finally it is the luminous nature, beyond thoughts.

 – Paul Rinpoche

bell in my home

My mindful bell at home.

Delicious Peace

Delicious Peace Grows In a Coffee Bean. Photo credit: Thanksgiving Coffee Company

Fair Trade coffee is about to get an extra shot of deliciousness in Washington DC with the screening of the award winning documentary film Delicious Peace at the Global Exchange Fair Trade Store (inside Busboys and Poets @ 5th & K).

The Peace Movement and the Fair Trade Movement meet in Uganda with amazing farmer and activist JJ Keki, who fearlessly crossed religious boundaries to build economic prosperity and peaceful community. This inspirational documentary film tells the story of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish coffee farmers in Uganda coming together in the wake of the Idi Amin regime of terror and intolerance.

JJ Keki Founder and Chairman of the Cooperative and his youngest son Aaron look over the Namatala River Valley, and the slopes of Mt. Elgon. Photo Credit: Thanksgiving Coffee Company

In Uganda today, small-scale coffee farmers account for over 90% of the country’s revenues. These farmers face small profits due to inefficiencies within the Ugandan government and exploitative market intermediaries.

With the support of US-based non-profit organization KulanuJJ Keki and a revolutionary group of farmers successfully organized The Peace Kawomera Cooperative; and rightfully named their coffee Mirembe Kawomera, meaning Delicious Peace in the local Luganda language.

They’ve partnered with  Thanksgiving Coffee Company, an artisan coffee roaster in Northern California, to make Delicious Peace Coffee available to you. The coffee is available at our Global Exchange Stores.

The Peace Kawomera Coffee cooperative, which has grown to over 1,000 members, is the first Fair-Trade certified Ugandan coffee to be sold in the United States.

With the United States consuming 1/5th of the worlds’ coffee, our purchasing power has strong impact in Uganda. When consumer choose Fair Trade coffee, we’re helping to ensure that coffee farmers receive just compensation, competitive prices, access to financial stability, equal distribution of benefits among the cooperatives, and the opportunity to be apart of a sustainable business that supports their community.


Mirembe Kawomera Light

Deena Shadrack is a leader in the Abayudaya (Jewish) community, strong advocate for womens’ rights, a coffee farmer, and a mother to many. Photo credit: Thanksgiving Coffee Company

Come view a powerful film that follows these farmers and their amazing work!

What: A Special Film Screening of Award Winning Documentary Delicious Peace

When: April 2, 2013 from 6-8pm

Where: Global Exchange Fair Trade Store (inside of Busboys and Poets); 1025 5th Street NW  Washington, DC 20001

The 40-minute film will be followed by a panel discussion with Jeff Goldman (Executive Director of the Fair Trade Resource Network), myself (manager of the Global Exchange Fair Trade Store in DC & VA),  and others.  Don’t miss out on a post discussion FREE tasting of Delicious Peace coffee!

 RSVP: Let us know if you’re planning to attend, Rsvp on Facebook. Or just show up!

It’s time to Spring into your monthly dose of Fair Trade news and event updates. Find out about upcoming contest deadlines, plus info about a 15 day “Fair Trade Adventure to Sri Lanka” giveaway.


Take part in the Human Rights People’s Choice Awards by nominating and/or voting and help Global Exchange honor the human rights heroes who are making a difference – whether they’re in your neighborhood or halfway around the world. Someone working in Fair Trade, perhaps.

It’s time to shine a spotlight on those unsung heroes working for peace, justice, and sustainability.

Participating is easy breezy. Simply log onto Global Exchange’s Human Rights Awards website, and nominate and vote for YOUR Human Rights Hero/Heroine. The last day to nominate and vote is March 19, 2012, so hurry!

Your nominations and votes help determine who will win Global Exchange’s People’s Choice Award and take home $1,000 to use towards their important work.

You nominate. You vote. You decide.

This award means a great deal to the winners, and this honor is an important way to strengthen the efforts of their work. Past People’s Choice honorees include Mexican Poet/Activist Javier Sicilia and Cambodian human rights activist Mu Sochua. Help us choose the 2012 Honoree today.

What are you waiting for? It’s easy and free! Log on to power to choose this year’s People’s Choice Award winner is in your hands.

Graphic Credit: Fair Trade Resource Network


Source: Fair Trade Resource Network

World Fair Trade Day (WFTD) May 12, 2012, is an international celebration and promotion of Fair Trade. Events will be held in over 80 countries.

In N. America, communities are celebrating World Fair Trade Day from May 6-20. WFTD is the largest Fair Trade event in N. America, with around 100,000 people attending hundreds of local events around the U.S. and Canada.

Get Involved in World Fair Trade Day 2012:

Graphic Credit: Fair World Project


Source: Fair World Project

More than 500 Retailer Events Planned and National Contest Offers a Fair Trade Adventure to Sri Lanka.

Fair World Project will coordinate more than 500 retail store events on World Fair Trade Day, May 12, 2012. The coordinated campaign to celebrate and promote World Fair Trade Day is being sponsored by dedicated fair trade brands Alaffia, Alter-­Eco, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Guayaki, Equal Exchange, and Maggies Organics. Retailer participants include Whole Foods Market and many other retailers of natural products around the country.

In-store events will include: sampling and promotional discounts from dedicated fair trade brands; a screening of a new educational video about the principles of Fair Trade; and contest entry for a 15 day “Fair Trade Adventure to Sri Lanka.” The contest will be the first of its kind organized nationally and will provide an all expenses paid trip in conjunction with Intrepid Travel for 2 random winners to visit the ‘Coconut Triangle’ region of Sri Lanka where the world’s first organic and fair trade coconut oil project was developed over the last half decade.

Read more about it here.

Graphic Credit: Fair Trade Resource Network


Source: Fair Trade Resource Network

Less than 3 weeks are left to nominate organizations for the first inclusive “Best in Fair Trade” Awards for N. America nonprofits & businesses.

The public can nominate and vote for U.S. & Canada based organizations doing exemplary work in Fair Trade in 5 categories: Most positive change in a producer community; Outstanding long-term commitment to producers; Best support of the Fair Trade movement; Most effective public education program; Most effective advocacy for trade policy reform.

FTRN created the contest since no awards existed to honor organizations across all major Fair Trade recognitions. Winners will be celebrated during World Fair Trade Day in May. Nominate or self-nominate nonprofits and businesses before March 31. The public will then vote for finalists during April.

Learn more at “Best in Fair Trade” Awards.



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Happy Holidays everybody,

Here’s your healthy dose of Fair Trade news. But first, a warm n cozy fair trade giveaway announcement!


Stop by any Global Exchange store now through December 24th, and we’ll give you one FREE gift when you buy any three gifts from our selection of alpaca knit gloves, hats, and scarves.

Here’s a sample shopping list:

Mom: Choose from a wide selection of beautiful hand-woven scarves. Whether she loves 100% alpaca, alpaca-acrylic blends, bright colors, soft colors, traditional or modern styles, we have the perfect scarf for her.

Dad: Keep that head warm this winter! Dad will love our alpaca hats – choose from classic beanies or colorful styles with earlaps and tassels!

Sister: Fingerless gloves are the perfect winter gift for sis. We have a beautiful and extensive selection this year; everything from colorful patterns to tasteful, simple gloves. Be sure to check out our slouchy arm warmers too.

Brother: FREE gloves or hat. Choose from a variety of Nepalese wool gloves or hats, FREE with the purchase of any winter knit items.

This offer is good at any Global Exchange store through December 24th or while supplies last.

Photo Credit: Hoop Fund


Have you heard of Hoop Fund yet? Self-described as “a unique crowd-funding platform that enables you to enjoy ethically produced products and to invest in the farmers and artisans behind these goods.” Basically, when you purchase with the Hoop Fund, you’re buying a product, plus you’re also providing a loan to the person/people who make the product.

For those of you still in need of holiday gifts, check out their site!

For you fair trade businesses out there, I noticed on their site they welcome partnerships with brands that practice fair trade principles, so might be worth checking out for potential future collaboration. There are some recognizable fair trade names already involved, including Alter Eco and Indigenous Designs.

Sustainable Food Summit 2011


What is the future role of Fair Trade and other eco-labels in a food industry that is increasingly looking at the ‘triple bottom line’? This summit aims to address this question.

From the Sustainable Foods Summit website: Learn, debate and discuss the major developments in eco-labels and sustainability at the Sustainable Foods Summit. The fifth edition of this international series of summits takes place in San Francisco on 17-18 January 2012. Like previous events organized by Organic Monitor, it  will bring together key stake-holders to debate and discuss key sustainability issues.

To get a taste of what to expect, here’s a video from the Summit last year:


San Francisco Chronicle: Victoria’s Secret cotton unravels kids’ lives

Cotton from her first went from her hands onto the trucks of a Burkina Faso program that deals in cotton certified as fair trade. The fiber from that harvest then went to factories in India and Sri Lanka, where it was fashioned into Victoria’s SecretRead article, or listen to this story on NPR.

MarketWatch: Callebaut(R) Launches Fairtrade Certified Chocolate

Callebaut(R) Finest Belgian Chocolate(TM) announced the launch of Fairtrade certified versions of its popular 811NV (55.3% Cacao Dark), 823NV (35.1% Milk) and 70-30-38NV (70% Cacao Dark) references to confectioners, bakers and pastry chefs. Read article.

NOW Toronto: Fair trade war brewing NOW Toronto

Split in movement signals a new tolerance for corporate farming and retailing: Here’s a bit of bad news that emerges, ironically, from a generally good-news situation. The meteoric rise of ethical consuming over the past decade has given rise to forces causing the first serious split in fair trade ranks in over 25 years. Read article.

Journalist’s Resource: Does Fair Trade Deliver on Its Core Value Proposition? Effects on Income, Educational Attainment, and Health in Three Countries

A 2009 study by researchers at the University of Wyoming, the University of Nebraska and the International Cotton Advisory Committee published in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, “Does Fair Trade Deliver on Its Core Value Proposition? Effects on Income, Educational Attainment, and Health in Three Countries,” examined how participation in an alternative trade organization (ATO) focused on fair trade affected the family income, education and health of producers. Read article.

Grist: Fair trade lite: Fair Trade USA Moves Away From Worker Co-ops 

Compared to so many other purchasing decisions — the “Certified Fair Trade” logo has made buying ethically produced coffee a relatively simple choice. Most of us either buy fair trade or we don’t. But that’s all about to change. Read article.

The Guatemalan Times: Mexican Small Farmer Fair Trade Producers Speak Out: we can only move forward with authentic fair trade

On December 7th, Francisco VanDerhoff Boersma, co-founder of the first fair trade certifying body, Max Havelaar, and the renowned small farmer co-operative in Mexico, UCIRI (Union of Indigenous Communities of the Region of Isthmus)  submitted the following extremely important proclamation from the Mexican Coordinator of Small Fair Trade Producers as a comment on our earlier blog post. Due to its importance, I’ve taken the liberty to have it translated from Spanish and am posting it here. Read translation.

Check back here in January on our Fair Trade blog for the next Fair Trade News Round-Up…your one-stop shop for current Fair Trade news and events. And if you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me. Happy Holidays and New Year to you!

Sachiko (far right), Gilbert (3rd from left), Courtney (2nd from left) with Global Exchange store staff.

The following was written by Global Exchange Fair Trade Store intern Sachiko Muraoka, who will be finishing her work here with us this week. We will be sad to see her go, but excited to see what great things she does next!

On Saturday, July 23rd, the Global Exchange Fair Trade Store in Fair Trade Town San Francisco hosted a Fair Trade Talk with Gilbert Ramirez from CoopeAgri in Costa Rica and Courtney Lang from Fair Trade USA. Gilbert’s town Pérez Zeledón is the very first Fair Trade Town in Latin America.

Before the talk, we all enjoyed tasty Fair Trade Peace Coffee. Yum! Then Courtney started off the event with a brief introduction to Fair Trade.

Next, Gilbert shared his experiences with and visions of his coffee and sugar cooperative, CoopeAgri, which at the beginning had more than 300 farmers. It is located in Pérez Zeledón, a biologically diverse city in the central valley of Costa Rica. By 2010, about 12,000 members have joined the cooperative, 65% male and 35% female members.

The cooperative was established in 1962, before the Fair Trade movement was established. CoopeAgri started a Fair Trade development model in 1994. They are committed to producing sustainably produced coffee and sugar. For example, their coffee mill conserves the use of water and energy and they practice forest protection programs. Most of their coffee is exported overseas, especially since their coffee became Fair Trade Certified in 1994.

Their coffee sales have increased dramatically over time, but they’re hoping to grow much more moving forward. The cooperative exports their coffee to more than 70 countries but their coffee is not being distributed in the United States as much as Gilbert would like. At this point, CoopeAgri exports 70% of its coffee to Europe and 16 % to the United States.

Fair Trade coffee farmer from CoopeAgri

Gilbert told us that they are aiming to export more coffee to the US and that during his trip here one of his main goals was to explore how to make this a reality. According to The Coffee Book by Nina Luttinger and Gregory Dicum, 1.5 millon cups of coffee is being consumed worldwide every day and the U.S. represents one-fifth of it. Given that the U.S. consumes more coffee than any other country, it makes sense that this is a critical goal to coffee cooperatives such as Pérez Zeledón.

Although Fair Trade has been promoted as a means to equalize the economic gap between developed and developing countries, Gilbert mentioned that Fair Trade can offer more personal connections besides its economic and environmental impacts. Fair Trade brings a direct connection between producers from the community, and buyers and customers. This is possible in part because the Fair Trade model cuts out the middlemen usually present in the conventional trade system.

House (before) CoopeAgri Fair Trade premium funded renovation

The Fair Trade model also helps fund community development projects, thanks to Fair Trade premiums producers receive. CoopeAgri provides a variety of benefits to its members, including social security and medical, housing funds which more than 70 families have benefited so far, and education and sports programs for children.

House (after) CoopeAgri Fair Trade premium funded renovation

The cooperative also provides some social services for community members who do not belong to the group.

CoopeAgri will commemorate its 50 years anniversary next year. We all hope they will maintain and increase their positive development. These days it is not difficult to find Fair Trade coffee in the United States, particularly in a city like San Francisco, with its numerous markets and coffee shops providing Fair Trade coffee. But meeting directly with a coffee producer…so not common!

This event gave me a better understanding of and new perspectives about Fair Trade coffee and its positive impacts on one producer community. Long-term relationships between cooperatives, importers, and customers are important.

A big thanks to Courtney and Gilbert for participating in this event. I’m looking forward to tasting CoopeAgri´s coffee in the United States in the near future. ¡Muchas gracias!


To keep up-to-date about Global Exchange store happenings & events, join our free Fair Trade Store e-newsletter here and “like” our Fair Trade Facebook page.

It’s Fair Trade Roundup time…news you can use.


The Fair Trade International Symposium is planned for April 2-4 in UK. Here’s details, from

FTIS 2012 & GeoFairTrade Final Conference (UK): Following on from the success of the first three Fair Trade International Symposiums held in Montreal (2002 and 2006) and Montpellier (2008), a 4th symposium will be held at Liverpool Hope Business School on 2nd-4th April 2012. For this 4th edition, the symposium gathering academics and practitioners will host the final conference of the EU-funded “GeoFairTrade” project.

The question which will be explored during the 4th Fair Trade International Symposium is the following: how can Fair Trade concretely connect producers and consumers, as well as other stakeholders, along fair and sustainable supply chains? As the Montpellier symposium explored, Fair Trade has known an unprecedented growth and mainstreaming over the last decade, translating into dramatic increases in sales and public awareness. However, many questions remain for both practitioners and academics about the potential of Fair Trade to continue growing, whilst at the same time, achieving its aims of transforming globalisation.


Photo Credit:


Intermediate level discussion for advocates and traders about quantifiable impacts from key case studies, non-income benefits, coffee/crafts and other products, and topics the audience raise.

Presenters: Daniele Giovannucci, Executive Director of Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA); Sarah Lyon, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky
Moderator:  FTRN’s Executive Director, Jeff Goldman
When: Thursday, August 4, 1:00-1:50pm EST
More Info/To Register:

The first ever Fair Trade Towns & Universities National Conference is happening in Philadelphia, PA September 9-11, 2011. The conference will bring together leaders and activists who are organizing or planning to organize a Fair Trade campaign in their town/city or university/college. Organizers, activists, faculty and students will come together to share experiences and resources, sharpen skills, and build momentum for Fair Trade.

All Town and University campaign organizers are welcome, and financial assistance is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
To learn more about and register for the conference: click here
Travel Stipend: There is limited financial assistance available for the Fair Trade Towns & Universities National Conference to allow leaders, organizers and volunteers to offset travel and accommodations.  To apply, once you have registered fill out the Travel Stipend Application and e-mail or fax it to the address provided in the application.


Fair Trade updates, filled with celebrity news, product launches, and industry developments. It’s Fair Trade Roundup time!

A new line of ethically designed shoes made in a worker-owned factory in Buenos Aires, Argentina was just introduced to the Global Exchange Store in San Francisco. The ethical soles Pauline by Ethical World are made of cotton canvas on the outside, the insoles of folded cotton linen and original patterned fabrics. Each pair comes inside a small bag to match. Yours for the reasonable price of $58 or two pair for $98. Color choices? Chile pepper red, Caribbean green, and gray.

Like other co-ops who are part of the larger “recovered factories movement” the members of the co-op where these shoes are made were expelled from their factory when the local economy went bust back in 2001, and many factory owners shuttered their businesses. As desperation grew, some impoverished workers broke back into their former work places, got the machinery up and running, operating the businesses again under a democratic management scheme. More than 200 companies have been “recovered” by workers and become cooperatives.

Paula Surraco, a designer who has worked with the co-op for five years, shared his thoughts about the shoes:

“In Buenos Aires, everyone wears espadrilles! They are comfortable, casual, and fun. Our shoes are designed and made with the utmost attention to detail, with each stitch and fold handcrafted by artisans. When you buy these shoes, you are empowering the workers to forge their own economic lives, building a factory and a business they own and providing them with dignified labor and fair salaries and conditions. These products represent a revolution in the apparel industry.”

Jocelyn Boreta, buyer at Global Exchange’s Noe Valley store, was eager to offer them to customers because she feels there is a dearth of good Fair Trade shoes in the marketplace.

These shoes are practical and playful and represent the real people powered production that we celebrate at the Global Exchange Fair Trade Stores. It is extremely hard to find beautiful, well-made fair trade shoes in the US. We are certain our fair trade shoppers will appreciate them.”

To find out more about the Reclaimed Factories Movement: Watch The Take, a compelling documentary produced by Naomi Klein and husband Avi Lewis.

To Purchase a Pair: Grab yours at the Global Exchange Fair Trade Store in San Francisco, CA .
Where: 4018 24th Street, San Francisco CA
Questions: call 415-255-7296 or email Jocelyn Boreta


Join activists nationwide placing s’more-tastic child labor consumer alert cards on Hershey chocolate bars in stores, videotaping the action, and sending it to friends.

This action is one of the early uses of Quick Response (QR) codes for social justice actions! People who see the consumer alerts will be able to take action right away by reading the QR code with their smartphones.

Actions are happening all summer!

To take part in this action: Get your ideas flowing. Watch this video of some folks taking part in the action:

Ready to Get Started? Everything you need to do your own action is available right here on the Raise the Bar Hershey website.

Gretchen Jones sporting one of her necklaces Photo Credit:

Gretchen Jones, the big Season 8 winner of the hit reality television show Project Runway, recently launched a socially responsible jewelry line on Piperlime.

The line features pieces of metal transformed into aesthetically interesting shapes, a little bit modern and little bit vintage that ends up looking a whole lot cool.

To produce this collection, Gretchen collaborated with Aid to Artisans, an organization promoting international development, with designers collaborating with artisan groups to craft award winning products. Each piece in this collection was handcrafted by local artisans in Columbia. Jones visited the country in May to meet the producers.

Eden Dawn, who writes for Portland Monthly, caught up with Gretchen Jones who had this to share about her new collection:

I chose to work with Aid to Artisans, as it sets an example how we all can come together and consciously create beautiful work while helping others. Sustainability within humanitarian endeavors has economic relevance…its doesn’t always have to be about the materials alone, but the shared experience.  Supporting crafts people across the globe makes me feel good about the work I do and proud of what can be attained when broadening your [our] horizons.

You can view the entire collection (and see a video of Gretchen’s visit to Columbia) on Just remember, not everything on this site is Fair Trade, so if you’re going to shop responsibly, do your reading first.


THE SACREMENTO BEE: Dr. Bronner’s to U.S. Congress: Regulate Unsafe Cosmetics!
Professional Jeweler: What will Fairtrade gold mean for the industry?
Commodity Online: Gold free of guilt: What Fairtrade Certification can do
The co-operative magazine: Emma Watson’s teacher inspired fairtrade fashion
World Fair Trade Organization: 10 Principles of Fair Trade
Fair Trade USA: Celebrating the African Women of Fair Trade
Gifts and Tablewares: Chicago Market to Feature Fair Trade Federation Pavilion

Got interesting Fair Trade news to share? Email me or share it in the comments section. We’re all ears!

Photo Credit:


Last week called on fans of restaurant chain Cosi to tell the company that “life should be delicious” for cocoa farmers who currently live in poverty.

So for the past week Fair Trade activists filled Cosi’s Facebook Wall with posts about Fair Trade chocolate to encourage Cosi to use Fair Trade Certified cocoa for its popular tableside s’more treats.

A fan posted on Cosi’s wall, “I just went to Cosi 15 minutes ago and then found out on Facebook that this company does not take the problem of child slavery related to the chocolate trade, seriously. Please go with Fair Trade chocolate and take a stand against child slavery in the cocoa trade!”

So what was the response from Cosi?

What response?

One fan asked, “Cosi, why will you respond to all customer concerns EXCEPT those about the type of chocolate you use? I work around the corner from a Cosi and will eat there a lot less if the company isn’t willing to address this issue” and another fan posted “I would really appreciate it if Cosi could provide some kind of response to the fans who are concerned about child labor and other abuses linked to our favorite Cosi chocolate products.”

From looking at Cosi’s Facebook wall posts, it seems pretty clear that while eager to address customer service comments, requests and complaints, Cosi does not appear to be responding to any Fair Trade related comments.

Exhibit A: One hungry fan posted “why is your there no “made your own” sandwich option on your online ordering?” About 2 hours later, Cosi responded to the grammatically-challenged post with “we definitely see the importance in this and we’re working hard to add it as well as other capabilities. Thanks so much for your feedback.

Cosi’s has been silent in response to Facebook fans’ concerns about child labor. To take action, sign the Cosi Petition “Stop Child Labor, Use Fair Trade Chocolate to Make Your S’Mores.


This is the last week to vote for your favorite Fair Trade themed photos in the Fair Trade Calendar Photo Contest. Voting only goes through Saturday, July 17th so vote today if you haven’t yet.

As a member of the Fair Trade Resource Network Board of Directors, I helped launch the first calendar a few years back, and I have to say, the photo submissions this year are some of the best yet! Seriously, you should check them out.

Voting is really easy and free. You simply put a check mark next to your 5 fave pics and enter your email address and voila, consider your votes counted.

Check out a few of the photo contest submissions:

Photo Credit: Baskets of Africa


Photo Credit: Alter Eco





Photo Credit: Julia Baumgartner of Just Coffee Cooperative














The first ever Fair Trade Towns & Universities National Conference is happening in Philadelphia, PA September 9-11, 2011.
The conference will bring together leaders and activists who are organizing or planning to organize a Fair Trade campaign in their town/city or university/college. Organizers, activists, faculty and students will come together to share experiences and resources, sharpen skills, and build momentum for Fair Trade.

All Town and University campaign organizers are welcome, and financial assistance is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

To learn more about and register for the conference click here

To learn about the opportunity for financial assistance click here

Photo Credit: Ecouterre /Brit Liggitt


Here’s your roundup of Fair Trade news and updates:

The ‘Raise the Bar Hershey’ rally took place in front of the Hershey store in Times Square. Lots of people turned out, including school kids and Kerry Kennedy, and Global Exchange’s Adrienne and Emily.

Check out Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Child Labor has got to Go! to read all about it and see pics. And check back here on our Fair Trade blog in a few days for a new video from the rally.


The third annual Fair Trade Calendar Photo Contest is in full swing. The time is NOW to submit Fair Trade themed photos on behalf of your business or organization for the chance to be included in the 2012 Fair Trade calendar. You can enter photos from producer or consumer countries. The 12 winning Fair Trade photos will be featured in the 2012 Fair Trade Calendar.

Here’s What to Do:
1) Submit Photos (June 1-26, 2011)
1.    Read contest Guidelines/Eligibility for details on qualifying, specifications, etc.
2.    Email each photo, with a caption up to 50 words to;
3.    Pay submission fee of $10/photo at Fair Trade Resource Network’s Online Store;
2) Vote for Photos (June 27 – July 16, 2011)
Vote online for your favorites, with a link announced on FTRN’s website on June 27. The 12 winning photos will be featured each month in the 2012 Fair Trade Calendar. Over 1500 people voted for their favorite photos in last year’s contest!

To learn more about the Fair Trade Calendar Photo Contest, visit FTRN’s website or email


Thanks to Fair Trade Sports for sharing this gem on its blog. That’s where I first discovered it. According to the post, TMB Bank launched this short film as part of a new brand vision, “Make THE Difference,” to inspire people to start thinking differently.

This video encompasses the wonderfulness of kids, soccer (er, football), and well, life in general! 1,380,434 people (and counting) on YouTube have watched it. Have you?

3blmedia: Fair Trade USA and Textile Exchange Form Strategic Partnership
Going Green Examiner: Why Choose Fair Trade?
axiomnews: United Kingdom Sees Meteoric Rise in Fair Trade
GOOD: Finding a Sweet Spot for Fair Trade Sugar Farmers
PRNewswire: On-Trend Products Defying Economic Downturn
Evening Times (UK): Schools to go into battle for Fairtrade cup

Check back here on our Fair Trade blog for more Fair Trade News Round-Ups…your one-stop shop for current Fair Trade news and events. And if you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me!

World Day Against Child Labor was on Sunday, June 12th. Four days prior, the ‘Raise the Bar Hershey’ rally took place in front of the Hershey store in Times Square.

School children and social justice activists, along with Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and Lee Cutler, Secretary Treasurer of New York State United Teachers Union, rallied to call on Hershey to eliminate forced, trafficked and child labor from its cocoa supply chain.

The reported:

Students from Public School 87, Brooklyn International High School and Benedictine Academy from Elizabeth, N.J., were among the 150 demonstrators, yelling, “Hershey’s: tastes good, feels bad.” The students have been studying global issues and were there as part of a field trip.

When reached for comment, Hershey’s spokesman, Kirt Saville, did not address the company’s child labor practices, but said it has been committed for the past 50 years to improving the West African cocoa communities.

One thing is certain; Hershey lags behind its competitors when it comes to taking responsibility for the communities from which it sources cocoa.

The rally was a spirited success, as you can probably tell from the pictures. If you’d like to see more pics from the event, check out these Flickr pages: