Gift of MembershipLet’s talk gifts.

This time of year, there’s almost no getting around it. You have people in your life you care about. You want them to know you’re thinking about them. So you seek out holiday gifts for them that are in line with your values.


Global Community Gift Package

Lucky for you, Global Exchange has two Gift of Membership Packages full of Fair Trade goods from around the world for you to choose from this year, just in time for #FairTuesday and #GivingTuesday December 3, 2013!

1) The Fair Trade gift package includes Fair Trade coffee, chocolate, and a beautiful block printed tote bag from India.

2) The Global Community gift package includes the Fair Trade items mentioned above PLUS candles from South Africa AND a pendant from Cambodia – both made by co-operative producers.

Of course, both the Fair Trade and Global Community gift packages include a one year membership to Global Exchange and when you give the gift of Global Exchange membership, you’re connecting someone you care about with an international movement to build a better world.

You pick the gift package and we’ll take care of the rest. Once you place your order, we’ll send the gift package directly to your recipient. It’s that simple.

So give a Global Exchange Gift of Membership to somebody you care about today. You’ll make someone special very happy, and you can feel good knowing that you are supporting important international human rights work!

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!

Global Exchange Berkeley Fair Trade Store Staff

Our Fair Trade Stores are throwing holiday parties on Dec. 15th (all are invited!) in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. The evening will bring seasonal spirits and refreshments while guests shop for Fair Trade gifts from around the world.

  1. Here’s What to Expect at our Holiday Party:

Exhibit A: Recycled glassware display I snapped at the SF store 2010 holiday bash

1) First the obvious: A wide selection of Fair Trade gifts from around the world. I have at least 5 people left on my gift list, and I hope to cross them all off by the end of this party!
2) 20% OFF everything in the store (can’t combine with other promos) when you use the secret party password. Don’t know what it is? Visit our Facebook page to find out, and click “like” while you’re there.
3) Knowledgeable, friendly staff just waiting to help you find the perfect gifts!

Fair Trade Store Director Jocelyn (r) with former Asst Mgr Ariel (l)

4) Ladies and gents dressed to impress. Global Exchange staff and members tend to get all gussied up in our holiday best, and we sure do clean up nicely! It’s certainly not a formal affair, but holiday sweater sightings are likely.
5) A shombler or two:) Shombler is a word I just made up. It’s a cross between a shopper and a stumbler. (There’s a good chance you’ll spot at least one person who gets just a little too tipsy from the free wine.) Full disclosure: that shombler most likely will be me.
6) To meet progressive people and make new friends. Every year our holiday parties bring together a terrific group of like-minded individuals; Global Exchange members and staff, friends, family and community members.

What Not to Expect at Our Annual Fair Trade Store Holiday Party:

Now that you know what to expect, here’s a couple of things you should not expect to find at our annual Fair Trade holiday party:

  1. Mass produced sweatshop-made products. We pride ourselves on offering handmade products from around the world, with fair prices for consumers and fair prices paid to producers.
  2. A long drawn out program. This is a party, complete with spirits and munchies, music, laughter and a whole lotta shopping. There is no formal program for the evening, just the extended Global Exchange community coming together to mix and mingle the evening away.
  3. To leave empty-handed or empty-bellied. Between the appetizers, holiday spirits and shopping your heart away, there will be plenty to take away from our annual Fair Trade holiday party. So come on out!

Global Exchange 2010 holiday party attendees shopping about


Attend the Fair Trade Holiday Party: Hope to see you at the Global Exchange Fair Trade Store Holiday Party. Remember to RSVP on Facebook invite and find out the secret password so you can get your 20% OFF!

Join the #ecowed Twitter Party: We’ll be talking #fairtrade holidays with @YourOrganicLife on Wednesday, 12/14 at 7pm Pacific. Hope you Tweeters out there can join us! Please help spread the word with this suggested tweet: Twitter Party! 12/14 7pm PST @gxfairtrade and @YourOrganicLife talk about #fairtrade holidays #ecowed Plz RT

Happy Holidays!