Fair Trade is bootifulFair Trade month is coming up fast, so this Fair Trade Roundup has lots of info to help folks plug into this exciting time, plus fresh Fair Trade news picks in the “News to Peruse” section. Hope you enjoy!

Roundup Sections:

  1. Featured Fair Trade Update: Prepare for October/Fair Trade Month
  2. Global Exchange Fair Trade Update: Fair Trade Your Halloween
  3. Fair Trade News to Peruse

FairtradeAmerica-fairtrademonth-logo1) October is Fair Trade Month. Think Fair. Be Fair!
Join Fairtrade America and Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN) in celebrating National Fair Trade Month. The theme for this year’s festivities is: “Be Fair.”

Here are details from FTRN’s Executive Director Jeff Goldman:

We invite you to join us in celebrating National Fair Trade Month this October, as we raise awareness and encourage more people to enjoy Fair Trade products in their daily lives – and in doing so support so many families to have better living standards.
 
We encourage you to participate in any or all of the following ways:
1.    Attend an existing event – follow the growing list of planned events at Events Calendar.
2.    Let us know about your Fair Trade Month plans – and send photos! – so we can help promote your good work via our social media channels and Events Calendar.
3.    Request Fair Trade product samples and educational materials from Fairtrade America
4.    Enter a Prize Drawing for one of five Fairtrade gift baskets — find out how to enter starting October 1st.

Fair-Trade-Action-KIt-Poste

Fair Trade Halloween window poster

2) Global Exchange and Equal Exchange are teaming up to Fair Trade Your Halloween.

Global Exchange will soon be launching 31 fun ideas and activities that will have you drinking Fair Trade coffee, taking a Fair Trade pledge, hosting movie screenings, baking delicious Fair Trade goodies, and giving out Fair Trade chocolates to trick-or-treaters.

Fair-Trade-Action-KIt

Halloween Action Kit

Halloween Action Kit!

You’ll also be able to order a Halloween Action Kit to help spread the Fair Trade word. (Look right for your first glimpse at this action-oriented kit!)

Each kit will include postcards, an Equal Exchange coupon, decorative papel picado, a Halloween window poster, a DVD copy of The Dark Side of Chocolate, and a dozen Equal Exchange mini chocolates.

So get ready to Fair Trade Your Halloween! Bookmark FairTradeHalloween.org so you are in the know when the campaign and kits launch. (There’s a limited supply of action kits available.)

3) Fair Trade News to Peruse

Fair-Trade-NewsTHE FAIR TRADE ROUNDUP AND YOU!

Subscribe to our Fair Trade blog to receive new Fair Trade blog posts automatically.

News to share? If you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email Tex Dworkin.

Enjoy this Fair Trade Roundup? Then click the Like and Tweet buttons on the top right of this post to share with others. Thanks!

Beilul Naizghi protesting to end sweatshops June 2013 Photo Credit: Global Exchange

Beilul Naizghi protesting to end sweatshops June 2013 Photo Credit: Global Exchange

The following Fair Trade Roundup was written by Global Exchange Fair Trade Summer intern Beilul Naizghi.

 This issue reminds you to spread the word about a new Fair Trade internship at Global Exchange and proposed changes to Fairtrade International’s hired labor standards, plus the vetted list of Fair Trade related articles below in the “News to Peruse” section.

Roundup Sections:

1. Featured Fair Trade Update

2. Global Exchange Fair Trade Update

3. Fair Trade News to Peruse

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901ebb4b-3a2c-4e82-b1f9-cbe7a3ca4400 1. Featured Fair Trade Update: FLO’s proposed changes to hired labor standards

Fairtrade International just finished soliciting feedback for proposed changes to their hired labor standards.

Among the proposed changes are modifying the distribution of the premium so that up to 30% would be given directly to workers, protecting worker’s rights to organize by creating a freedom of association protocol all companies affiliated with FLO must sign and raising hired labor salaries from the current regional minimum wage.

“Hired labor standards have been one of the weakpoints in certification systems so it’s critical that they review and update the standard to provide more protections for all workers in the supply chain,” Adeline Lambert of the International Labor Rights Forum said.

The consultation period ended on August 5, 2013. Stay tuned!

Global Exchange 2013 Summer interns protesting to stop the TPP

Global Exchange 2013 Summer interns protesting to stop the TPP

2. Global Exchange Fair Trade Update: We’re Seeking a new Fall Fair Trade Intern

As summer comes to a close, here at the Global Exchange office we’re already preparing for the mass exodus of summer interns. Their presence and contributions make saying goodbye bittersweet.

The good news is, we get to welcome new interns in the Fall. So if you or someone you know is looking to gain firsthand experience in the Fair Trade movement, please check out our new internship opportunity below. You’ll get to do things like write this monthly Fair Trade Roundup (written by Fair Trade summer intern Beilul Naizghi!)

Global Exchange Fair Trade Internship

Join the Global Exchange Fair Trade team! If you are in the Ca Bay Area this Fall and looking for an internship in the Fair Trade movement, read on…

Global Exchange is looking for a self-motivated intern to join our Fair Trade team to gain hands-on experience with our Fair Trade campaign AND Fair Trade stores. We are looking for an enthusiastic, organized individual with strong writing skills to learn, grow and work with us.

To see the complete internship description, including qualifications and responsibilities, please visit Global Exchange’s Internship Web page.

Fair-Trade-News3. Fair Trade News to Peruse:

 THE FAIR TRADE ROUNDUP AND YOU!

Subscribe to our Fair Trade blog to receive new Fair Trade blog posts automatically.

• News to share? If you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email Tex Dworkin.

• Enjoy this Fair Trade Roundup? Then click the Like and Tweet buttons on the top right of this post to share with others. Thanks!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving week everybody! In this Fair Trade Roundup, we’ve got a slightly new format aimed to provide you with more Fair Trade news and info. Each Fair Trade Roundup is now arranged into three sections:

  1. Featured Update
  2. Global Exchange Fair Trade Updates
  3. Fair Trade News to Peruse

We’d love to hear what you think in the Comment section!

FEATURED UPDATE: Two Ways to Shop Ethically this Holiday Season

There are many ways to shop ethically this holiday season; here are two:

1. Shop from the Fair Trade Federation’s 2012 Fair Trade Holiday Gift Guide.

From the Fair Trade Federation:

FTF is thrilled to bring you a collection of gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list! All of the gifts in this guide are sold by members of the Fair Trade Federation– businesses and organizations that are fully committed to fair trade and follow the Fair Trade Principles in every one of their business decisions. Shop with confidence, knowing that your purchases make a positive impact on farmers and artisans around the world. Click here to browse the gift guide.

2. Take part in #FairTuesday.

From #FairTuesday founders Global Goods, a New York-based nonprofit, fair trade organization:

Fair Tuesday (hashtag #FairTuesday) is a fair trade initiative created in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The goal of #FairTuesday is to inspire conscious consumerism and show how an everyday purchase can change lives in a whole community. We are featuring fair trade and eco-friendly brands and inviting other businesses to take a step towards sustainability.

You can read more about how to participate in this blog post.


GLOBAL EXCHANGE FAIR TRADE UPDATES: Give the Gift of Membership AND You’re Invited to Attend Our Fair Trade Store Holiday Parties!

Give the Gift of Membership

There are six gifts to choose from, including “Support a Farmer” and “Stand for Human Rights.” You pick the gift and we’ll take care of the rest. We’ll send out the membership card and gift package, plus keep your recipient in the loop about Global Exchange programs and events with our newsletter and e-mail action alerts.

All Global Exchange Gift Membership Packages include:

  • One-Year Membership to Global Exchange;
  • Special Gift Certificate;
  • Fair Trade Gift(s) that represent Global Exchange’s work towards a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world.

Grab yours today, while supplies last.

FREE mugs some will receive at our holiday parties

Global Exchange Fair Trade Store Holiday Parties

Every year our Fair Trade store extended community gets together to celebrate the holidays. We shop, sip, nibble and socialize with each other while celebrating the holiday season. This year all four Fair Trade stores will be celebrating on the same night, so if you live near one of our stores we hope you’ll be able to join us!   

Early attendees will receive a FREE Fair Trade mug hand-painted in Tunisia FULL of steaming Fair Trade hot chocolate! *First 25 people to spend $25 or more

One-Night! 20% OFF Storewide for Global Exchange Members Only (Become a Member Today).

Come enjoy some holiday cheer and find gifts for your loved ones, while creating a more sustainable and just world. You can RSVP on Facebook.

*Please bring your Global Exchange membership card for your discount.

“Shop for a Cause” Nights Support Bay Area Organizations

This year Global Exchange is partnering with FOUR inspiring organizations to host “Shop for a Cause” nights at our Fair Trade stores in the Bay Area. Our goal is simple and speaks to our vision for a better global economic system: give back to our communities while giving back to artisans around the world through Fair Trade.

During these special event evenings, you can shop for your friends and family and 20% of your purchase will go to the featured local Bay Area organization to help support their social justice work.

Find out which organizations we’re partnering with in this post.


FAIR TRADE NEWS TO PERUSE

THE FAIR TRADE ROUNDUP AND YOU!
•    Subscribe to our Fair Trade blog to receive new Fair Trade blog posts automatically.
•    News to share? If you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me.
•    Enjoy this Fair Trade Roundup? Then click the Like and Tweet buttons on the top right of this post to share with others. Thanks!

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.

NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE FAIR TRADER FOR A HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD

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 www.HumanRightsAward.org humanrightsaward.org/2012-peoples-choice/contest/.The power to choose this year’s People’s Choice Award winner is in your hands.

Graphic Credit: Fair Trade Resource Network

WORLD FAIR TRADE DAY 2012 IS COMING UP FAST

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

FAIR TRADE BRANDS ANNOUNCE MAJOR CONSUMER CAMPAIGN FOR WORLD FAIR TRADE DAY,  ­ INCLUDING TRIP CONTEST!

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

“BEST IN FAIR TRADE” AWARDS OPEN FOR NOMINATIONS OF BUSINESSES & NONPROFITS

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.

FAIR TRADE IN THE NEWS…

THE FAIR TRADE ROUNDUP AND YOU!

  • Subscribe to our Fair Trade blog to receive new Fair Trade blog posts automatically.
  • News to share? If you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me.
  • Enjoy this Fair Trade Roundup? Then click the Share and Tweet buttons on the top right of this post to share with others. Thanks!

Happy almost February everybody. Here’s your monthly dose of Fair Trade news and updates, assembled just for you hungry readers. Don’t forget to scroll to the end of this post for the “Fair Trade in the News” section!


THIS VALENTINES DAY, TELL HERSHEY TO HAVE A HEART

Almost all major chocolate companies have begun to commit to using independent, third-party programs to certify that their cocoa suppliers comply with international labor standards, but Hershey continues to lag behind the industry.

Valentine’s Day is a major chocolate buying holiday, but gifts for your sweetheart should not come at the expense of worker rights. Forced labor, child labor and trafficking continue in the cocoa industry in West Africa.

Here’s how YOU can make a difference!

♥ Create your own personalized Valentine telling Hershey to use Fair Trade cocoa for its products, like the iconic chocolate Kiss. Address your valentine to Hershey Trust at 100 Crystal A Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. Please mail your Valentines to Hershey by February 17, 2012.

♥ You can also download a Valentine to color and send.

♥ If you make your own Valentine, please scan it and send the image to the Fair Trade Project at fairtrade@globalexchange.org. We’ll post some of the favorites online!

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Graphic Credit: http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com

THE CNN FREEDOM PROJECT: ENDING MODERN-DAY SLAVERY

From The CNN Freedom Project website:

In “Chocolate’s Child Slaves,” CNN’s David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast to investigate children working in the cocoa fields.

David McKenzie and Brent Swails of CNN revealed:

The Freedom Project wanted our team to answer one question: Ten years after all the major players in the chocolate industry promised to end trafficking and child labor in Ivory Coast, was that promise kept?

Sounds riveting, no? Air times and more info are online here.

Here’s a video clip from this project:

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Graphic Credit: USFT

2012 USFT NATIONAL CONVERGENCE COMING UP FAST!

United Students for Fair Trade (USFT) has its 9th national convergence coming up. This year the theme is Fair Trade: Where Do We Go From Here? Here’s the where, when, what and why’s about it, from the USFT announcement:

Kick off your spring with more than just a spring-cleaning –join United Students for Fair Trade for our 9th National Convergence, coming up on March 2nd-4th at the University of Maryland at College Park. USFT is proud to open our annual convergence to both students and professionals to learn more about the exciting future of the fair trade movement. Register by February 1, and receive an official USFT Alta Gracia (union-made, living wage apparel) t-shirt. Registration is limited to the first 300 participants—and spots are filling quickly! Registration closes February 17th.

The theme “Where Do We Go From Here?” will cover all questions that have come up during this pivotal time in the fair trade movement with speakers representing the worker, NGO and company voices behind the movement.  There will be workshops and discussion sessions, along with the chance to browse a Fair Trade marketplace and stock up on fair trade goods. At this convergence, you will learn skills that will help you organize a movement on campus, inspire others, and empower fair trade producers all at the same time!

USFT National Convergence Links:
-Event on Facebook
-Event Registration
-Event flyer download

Questions? Contact Maria Louzon, National and Convergence Coordinator at (443)883-5226 or maria@usft.org.

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WEBINAR: “SHOULD UNORGANIZED FARMERS BE INCLUDED IN FAIR TRADE?

From Fair Trade Resource Network announcement:
We invite you to learn about, and voice your perspectives on, this major issue on Webinar 120 on January 31 entitled “Should Unorganized Farmers Be Included in Fair Trade?

Just $5 to Register for Webinar 120
January 31, 1:00-1:50pm Eastern time

Panelists:
1.    Rodney North, Equal Exchange, The Answer Man – Information for the Public & Media
2.    Michael Sheridan, Catholic Relief Services, Director of the Borderlands Coffee Project (based in Ecuador)

Moderator:
FTRN’s Executive Director, Jeff Goldman

Level: Intermediate

Cost: Just $5 to Register for Webinar 120

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FAIR TRADE IN THE NEWS…

The Hershey Company: Hershey Expands Responsible Cocoa Community Programs in West Africa

The Hershey Company today announced its plan to reinforce cocoa sustainability efforts by accelerating farmer and family development in West Africa, where 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown. Read more.

Huffington Post: Bring Fair Trade to Electronics

Reports about the inhumane or dangerous working conditions in Chinese factories that manufacture the innovative products for Apple, Inc. — most recently by the New York Times — have brought publicity Apple probably does not want. For this student of China’s high-tech industry, however, the revelations are not surprising. Read more.

Care2.com: How Ethical are Those Valentine’s Day Treats?

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner? It feels like we just got done with holiday craziness! If you do the Valentine’s Day thing, you’re probably planning a date night or a gift, and there’s most likely a decadent dessert in the works. How can an ethical eater make sure that those Valentine’s Day indulgences aren’t at the expense of human rights? Read more.

NYGF (New York Gift Fair) 100 days of design: Designing Change: Fair Trade Principles Inspire Innovative Products by Madeline Kreider Carlson

How do mission-driven businesses integrate principles and design? For members of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), a commitment to the nine Principles of Fair Trade not only provides the ethical foundation for their business practices, but inspires the design of products as well. Fair Trade Federation members are businesses based in the U.S. or Canada who engage in long-term trading relationships with artisans and farmers in developing countries. Their business models create sustainable, positive change by: Read more.

TIME/Techland: Will the World Ever See Fair Trade iPads?

Apple has taken the brunt of recent criticism, but don’t think that by boycotting the iPhone you’ll be doing workers in China any favors. Foxconn, the company under the most scrutiny for its labor practices, makes products for a huge swath of the consumer electronics industry including Nokia, Samsung and many others. Read more.

Responsible Cocoa: CLCCG (The Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating group) 2011 Annual Report Released

The annual report was prepared by the Offices of Senator Tom Harkin, Representative Eliot Engel, The United States Department of Labor, The Government of Cote d’Ivoire, The Ghana Ministry on Employment and Social Welfare, and the International Chocolate and Cocoa Industry. See highlights and view photos from the CLCCG annual meeting, held in Washington, D.C. in January 2012. Read more.

Join the Fair Trade Roundup Brigade!

  • Subscribe to our Fair Trade blog to receive new Fair Trade blog posts automatically.
  • News to share? If you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me!
  • Enjoy this Fair Trade roundup? Then click the Share and Tweet buttons on the top right of this post to share with others. Thanks!

Fair Trade Store Manager Jocelyn at Oakland General Strike

Lots happening in the Occupy movement around the country.

Here at Global Exchange we took part in our local Occupy Oakland General Strike/Day of Action  last week (photos here!) while our Fair Trade stores showed solidarity that day by donating 9.9% of sales to our local Occupy groups. We continue to remain actively involved in local Occupy groups.

Fair Traders are issuing statements of support and/or endorsement of the Occupy movement. Here are a few:
Fair Trade Trends: Fair Trade Trends Supports Occupy Wall Street!
Equal Exchange: Equal Exchange Stands with Occupy Wall Street
Global Exchange: Take Action Occupy Together

Articles are popping up with the Occupy/Fair Trade theme:
The Bullet: Corporations Occupy Fair Trade
Fair World Project: The “99%” Weighs In On Food and Fair Trade
Cooperative News: Occupy Fair Trade!

What else? I wonder what other Fair Traders are doing as part of the Occupy movement. We’d love to hear from you about what you are doing, and what ideas you have for how fellow Fair Traders can get involved in the Occupy movement. Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section.

PAUL RICE ANNOUNCES TWO WAYS TO GET YOUR VOICE HEARD BY FAIR TRADE USA

Paul Rice, President & CEO of Fair Trade USA (formerly TransFair USA) recently announced the invitation for public comment on the draft Farm Workers Standard, and for nominations to the Coffee Innovation Council.

Paul Rice on standard setting process:

Multi-stakeholder consultation and engagement have always been important to Fair Trade USA. This approach is all the more essential as we innovate for greater impact through our new vision, Fair Trade for All.

I am excited to share with you Fair Trade USA’s standard setting process and invite you to participate in the public comment period for the Draft Fair Trade USA Farm Workers Standard that extends through December 31, 2011. We are eager to hear your feedback.

So this is your opportunity to provide feedback on changes taking place within Fair Trade USA’s standard setting. To participate, review the standard, download the feedback form, and submit your comments and recommendations to standards@fairtradeusa.org before December 31, 2011. An overview of Fair Trade USA’s standards setting process and work plan will be available in the coming weeks on Fair Trade USA’s  website.

Paul Rice on Fair Trade USA’s Innovation Council:

Fair Trade USA is creating a Coffee Innovation Council to help us identify the best ways to innovate so we provide more impact for more people. This group will help us analyze feedback and ideas from different stakeholder groups.  It will also provide input on standards, pilots, impact assessments and innovation strategy.

In an effort to draw upon the long-term experience and work of the Fair Trade movement, we are excited to announce a call for nominations to Coffee Innovation Council. As part of our commitment to stakeholder engagement, we invite nominations until November 30. Nominees will be chosen, notified and announced by the end of the year.

To be selected, nominees must share our vision for Fair Trade for All and agree that we must include those who have been systematically left out of the historical Fair Trade system. We are looking for diverse perspectives and relevant expertise that can help us achieve our objectives in the most impactful way. If you are interested in joining the council or nominating someone else, please send an email to  mzamora@fairtradeusa.org  stating how you or the nominee support our vision, and what  experience or expertise will help us achieve our objectives.  

FAIR TRADE HALLOWEEN ROUNDUP

This past Halloween, children and families spread the word about Fair Trade, switching up holiday conventions a bit while having a good time to boot. Folks from across the country sent in orders for the popular Reverse Trick-or-Treating kit, and Global Exchange distributed nearly 1,000 of them to supporters, both seasoned vets of Reverse Trick-or-Treating and first-timers.

The excitement received coverage in USA Today and the Boston Herald, to name a few. Read more updates from our Fair Trade campaign here.

LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT

Small Farmers. Big Change: An Analysis of Fair Trade: Reflections from a Founder (Part III)
Supermarket News: Fair Trade USA to Review Labeling Policy
Eat Drink Better: Buying Local vs Fair Trade
Businessweek: A Furor over Fair Trade
Inspire Magazine: Cathedral gets golden fairtrade weather vane

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

Time for another Fair Trade Roundup…your healthy dose of Fair Trade news.

Photo Credit: JOHN C. WHITEHEAD, The Patriot-News

USAS ANNOUNCES FACTORY SIT-IN TO PROTEST HERSHEY’S EXPLOITATION OF STUDENT GUEST WORKERS

Last week the Raise the Bar Hershey campaign urged consumers to take action on Hershey’s Facebook page to support the campaign that is calling on Hershey to go Fair Trade. As the Raise the Bar Hershey Campaign explains:

Hershey is America’s favorite chocolate brand, accounting for 42.5% of the US market. Yet, inside almost every Hershey chocolate product is the bitter truth that the cocoa used to produce the chocolate may very well have been produced under harmful conditions, including forced labor, human trafficking, and abusive child labor.

Since at least 2001, the Hershey Company has been aware of the problems that exist at the start of its supply chain, yet it continues to source from this region without ensuring that labor rights abuses do not occur in the production of the cocoa it uses.

That was last week. This week there have been more labor abuse accusations made against Hershey, this one from the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). Earlier today John Fitzgerald from Penn State USAS sent the following announcement:

Today, guestworkers and local workers staged a sit-in at a Hershey chocolate factory in Pennsylvania to protest the disturbing exploitation of student guestworkers and demand living wage jobs for local workers. USAS activists will join Pennsylvania workers with a delegation to the factory soon, but right now we’re asking you to take action to support the guestworkers.

Watch the video National Guestworker Alliance’s video here:

USAS was alerted to human rights abuses of international workers in the United States. This summer, hundreds of students from around the world each paid $3,000-6,000 for what they thought was a cultural exchange program. What they were actually greeted with were chocolate packing jobs at sweatshop conditions, poverty pay, severe pain, no cultural experience, and virtually no chance to make back the money they paid for the program. All this is going on at a Hershey Chocolate factory at Hershey, PA, in Penn State’s backyard. Hershey Chocolate is exploiting international student labor instead of bringing much-needed jobs to Pennsylvanian families.

Take Action: Click here to e-mail Hershey’s CEO John Bilbrey and demand an end to the exploitation of student guestworkers, and/or call his office at 717-534-4200.

Photo Credit: Fair Trade USA

FAIR TRADE USA RELEASES NEW 2011 IMPACT REPORTS FOR COFFEE, COCOA, SUGAR AND TEA

Check out the report pdfs here:

 

WPRI TACKLES “HOW TO SPOT FAIR TRADE PRODUCTS”

WPRI Eyewitness News had an interesting segment about Fair Trade. They did their best to inform consumers about the complexities of Fair Trade product labeling. You can watch it here:

 

LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT

Photo Credit: Change.org

FACEBOOK FANS ACTIONS RESULT IN COMPANY SILENCE BY COSI

Last week Change.org 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.

FAIR TRADE PHOTO CONTEST LAST FEW DAYS TO VOTE!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAIR TRADE TOWNS & UNIVERSITIES NATIONAL CONFERENCE

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

LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT

FAIR TRADE PHOTO CONTEST IN FULL SWING: VOTING NOW OPEN

Scores of beautiful and insightful photos are now competing in the third annual Fair Trade Photo Contest. The 12 winning photos will be featured in the 2012 Fair Trade Calendar. Vote for up to 5 Photos by July 16.
Please help share positive and diverse Fair Trade stories by encouraging your contacts to vote in the Fair Trade photo contest, and don’t forget to vote yourself!

The 12 winning Fair Trade photos will be featured in the 2012 Fair Trade Calendar, produced by FTRN and Fair Trade Federation.

Pre-order your calendars today: The 2012 Fair Trade calendar is available for pre-purchase now. The savings are big if you order early. Check out the pre-order early bird prices here. The more you get the more you save.

HOW CAN YOU CELEBRATE FREEDOM THIS JULY 4TH?

By making S’mores with Fair Trade chocolate!

Be part of the Fair Trade S’mores revolution.

Rock your picnic, barbeque or campfire with gooey, chocolatey Fair Trade s’mores.
Why? Because you’ll send a message to Hershey that it’s gotta get child and forced labor out of its cocoa. And you’ll enjoy your s’mores so much more with chocolate that frees kids from child labor and empowers cocoa farmers to free themselves from poverty.

During your s’more-fest, be sure to:
1.    Collect signatures on this petition asking Hershey to stop using child labor and become Fair Trade Certified
2.    Count the s’mores you eat and register them online
3.    Take pictures and videos of yourself with our s’mores poster and email the youtube link or your photos to fairtrade@globalexchange.org

Visit Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Campaign page for more s’mores event ideas and free resources.

Traditional block printing meets modern design

LEARN ABOUT BLOCK PRINTING TECHNIQUE WHILE SAVING IN SF THIS WEEKEND

Introducing Summer Saturday Savings! Every Saturday this summer July 2- Sept 3, 2011, the Global Exchange Fair Trade Store in San Francisco will be offering 15% OFF on featured clothing, scarves, tablecloths & kitchen ware, AND much more!

Kicking things off this Saturday, July 2nd, there will be free blockprinting demonstrations, a kids’ station, and customers will enjoy 15% off all summer dresses – just in time for that Fourth of July barbeque.

Learn about the traditional block printing technique used on many Fair Trade pieces this Saturday! Plus, enter a raffle by sharing what ‘independence’ means to you for chance to win a gift certificate to the Fair Trade store.

Event Details
Where: Global Exchange Fair Trade Store
4018 24th Street
When: 1pm-4pm Saturday July 2nd
More info: Call (415) 648-8068

HAVE YOU WATCHED KERRY KENNEDY’S FAIR TRADE RALLY SPEECH?

Check it out here:

Help the Raise the Bar Hershey folks reach their target of 1,500 video views. They’re aiming for1,500 views. You can help by sharing this link to it on your Facebook page and/or sending out this suggested tweet: Have you watched Kerry Kennedy’s #fairtrade rally speech yet? http://ow.ly/5svir via @gxfairtrade.

Michelle Obama, fashion modeling with spunk Photo credit: ecouterre.com

 

LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT

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

HERSHEY RALLY WRAP UP
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.

3RD ANNUAL FAIR TRADE CALENDAR PHOTO CONTEST

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 photocontest@ftrn.org;
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 photocontest@ftrn.org.

SERIOUSLY INSPIRING VIDEO YOU JUST HAVE TO WATCH!

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?

LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
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!