Fair Trade Day Giveaways

May 9th is World Fair Trade Day, a celebration of fair trade as a concrete contribution to the global fight against poverty, climate change and economic crisis.

You can find the FAIRTRADE Certification Mark on all six flavors of Classic Glee Gum, as well as the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit and the Make Your Own Gummies Kit.

Here’s how to enjoy World Fair Trade Day all month long– and win some Gleeful prizes THIS WEEK!

FTD_Main- Try your luck with a deluxe, mega giveaway of Fairtrade goodies, hosted by Divine Chocolate. (Ends May 9 at 7 am ET!)

- Enter to win more prizes with Fairtrade America’s fun, social media scavenger hunt. (Ends May 14 at midnight ET!)

- Discover more sweet ways to celebrate, thanks to this info from our friends at Fairtrade America.

- Read how the Fairtrade sugar in our products helps farmers.

- Learn more about fair trade in general here.

- And, of course, choose Fairtrade products.

Thanks for your help in making the world a fairer place!

World Fair Trade Day, Yay!

Glee Gum is proud to make the world’s first Fairtrade Certified gum. In celebration of World Fair Trade Day (May 9th!), we are delighted to share a guest blog from our friends at Fairtrade America. Fairtrade America is the official U.S. representative of Fairtrade International, the non-profit organization that champions a fair deal for farmers and workers.

Glee Gum, Fairtrade and farmers – how your sweet treats change lives

What do you know about sugar, sugar cane farmers and Fairtrade? The facts might surprise you – choosing gum, ice cream and other treats made with Fairtrade sugar makes a big difference to farmers all over the world.

A farmer harvests sugar cane by hand at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Photo credits: Monika Berresheim

A farmer harvests sugar cane by hand at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Photo credits: Monika Berresheim

What do you know about sugar?

Around 80 percent of the world’s sugar is derived from sugar cane, a bamboo-like grass that can grow to 20 feet tall. The other 20 percent is derived from sugar beets. While sugar beets are mostly grown in temperate zones in the North, sugar cane is grown largely in tropical climates by millions of small-scale farmers and plantation workers.

Why do sugar cane farmers need support?

The global sugar industry is vast and complex. Smallholder farmers often struggle to get a price that covers the costs of production, leaving them trapped in debt. The plight of individual farmers affects the entire community, as sugar cane farmers often rely heavily on their families for help, limiting people’s opportunities for education and perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

Did you know? Glee Gum’s commitment to Fairtrade sugar benefits farmers in Belize. About 15 percent of Belize’s population works in the sugar industry.

How does Fairtrade help sugar cane producers?

Fairtrade has certified 100 farmers’ organizations representing 62,200 smallholder cane farmers. Through Fairtrade certification, sugar cane farmers get improved access to international markets and support to develop the necessary business skills and technical capacity to be more competitive in the global market.

Fairtrade farmer organizations also receive the Fairtrade Premium, which goes into a communal bank account that producers democratically vote on how to spend. It’s one of the ways Fairtrade makes a real difference – farmers and workers decide how to improve their business and their communities.

Click for more Fairtrade sugar stats.

In 2012-2013, just shy of $11 million in Fairtrade Premium was paid to Fairtrade sugar cane producers worldwide. Farmer organizations invested 41 percent of the Premium in direct support to farming families. This included access to agricultural training, new tools and in-kind support and cash payments to help with living costs and needs.

Alberto Catch, 22, from Xaibé, cuts sugar cane at the plot of local Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association member Leocadio Hoy. Photo credits: James A Rodriguez

Alberto Catch, 22, from Xaibé, cuts sugar cane at the plot of local Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association member Leocadio Hoy. Photo credits: James A Rodriguez

How has Glee Gum made a difference?

In Belize, the impact has been transformational on three levels – social, economic and environmental.

Social - Fairtrade Standards have ensured that the farmers’ associations function democratically and represents thousands of members. The Belize Sugar Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) has invested the Fairtrade Premium in school scholarships, grants for school repairs and improvements, funding for youth groups, women’s groups, a community library and other projects that are strengthening farmers’ communities.

A student smiles during class. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association donates educational materials to numerous schools paid with the Fairtrade Premium. Photo credits: James A Rodriguez

A student smiles during class. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association donates educational materials to numerous schools paid with the Fairtrade Premium. Photo credits: James A Rodriguez

Economic – BSCFA has invested the Fairtrade Premium in a Quality Improvement Program that’s boosted production, resulting in an increase in the cane price received by farmers.

Environmental – Producers in Belize have conducted a comprehensive soil analysis to map the needs of the different soils and target fertilizer use more accurately, increasing productivity and reducing costs. They have also implemented programs that are increasing the use of biological pest controls, thereby reducing the need for chemical pesticides.

“Fairtrade is like a door to a great opportunity within our community. Investment in the range of projects in the technical support program is helping the cane farmers produce a higher quantity and quality of sugar cane with a positive impact on the incomes of producers. Through the social program, Fairtrade can help us promote education and build schools, health centers, clinics and much more.”   -- Alfredo Ortega, member of a Fairtrade cooperative in Belize

Watch this video for a look at Fairtrade’s impact in Belize.

What can you do?

Choose Fairtrade! Look for Fairtrade products like delicious Glee Gum the next time you shop. You’ll know a Fairtrade product because it will have this Mark.

Look for this Mark

Read more about Fairtrade.

Read more about Glee Gum and Fairtrade.

More Events in Store

Spring brings so many fun things to do. Glee Gum will be there. How about you?

Customer Appreciation Day at Shop-N-Kart, Chehalis, WA ~ 5/1/15

Spring into Healthy Living at the Concord Food Co-op, New London, NH ~5/16/15

Grand Opening at Whole Foods Market, Dublin, CA ~ 5/20/15

Natural Hair and Beauty Expo at Naturally Fly, Castle Hayne, NC ~ 5/30/15

Natural Awakenings’ Mind and Body Expo, Brookline, MA ~ 5/31/15

Nat at the Green Fest Chicago

Big Award for a Small Company

Great news, chums!

Our company Verve, inc. just won the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) award for Rhode Island Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. The award recognizes our founder and president Deborah Schimberg’s leadership in developing a successful business, increasing jobs, growing sales significantly, and creating innovative products like Glee Gum and new Glee Gum Pops. Woo-hoo!

Deborah Schimberg You’ve probably heard our story before– but just in case you haven’t, here’s the scoop! Schimberg founded Verve back in 1995 as a result of her interest in sustainable development. While visiting an economically depressed community in Northern Guatemala, she learned that all chewing gum was once made with a rainforest tree sap called chicle— until 100% synthetic gum bases became the norm. But the harvest of chicle provides an ongoing source of income for skilled laborers and their families. This in turn helps to conserve the rainforest in Mexico and Guatemala, giving trees more value standing than felled for lumber. Inspired, Schimberg returned to her Providence, RI home and used chicle to design Verve’s first product, a Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit.

In the 20 years since its inception, our company has expanded from selling educational candy-making kits for kids to producing the leading natural chewing gum on the market, Glee Gum. Available in nine flavors and sold throughout North America and beyond, Glee is the only chewing gum to be Non-GMO Project Verified, Fair Trade certified, kosher certified, and still made with chicle.

In the past year, we introduced Glee Gum Pops, the world’s first and only natural gum-filled lollipops. We also won Green America’s People & Planet Award, gifting 250 free activity kits to US public schools with the prize money, and started a scholarship program at the Maya Intercultural University of Quintana Roo, whose students come from chicle-producing communities. Aaand, we completed renovation of our new Verve headquarters in a formerly abandoned South Providence building just this week. It’s been a big year!

Thanks for all your Gleeful support. We couldn’t do it without you!

So Many Gleeful Events!

So, there’s gonna be a LOT of Glee spread this week. Here are some of the fun upcoming events where you’re apt to see our gum. And by “see,” we mean chew. Hope there’s one happening near you!

Glee Gum Sampling

The Lady Project Summit of PVD Lady Project at the VETS Memorial Auditorium, Providence, RI  ~ 4/18/15

Buzzfest 33 with Backstage Artist Lounge in The Woodlands, TX ~ 4/18/15

Spring Food Fest/ Anniversary Event at Ward’s Super Market, Gainsville, FL ~ 4/18/15

18th Anniversary Event at Healthy Horizons, Hammond, IN ~ 4/18/15

Grand Opening & Earth Day Event at Lassen’s, Ventura, CA ~ 4/18/15

Customer Appreciation Event at Healthy Living Organic & Natural Market, Lakewood Ranch, FL ~ 4/18/15

40th Anniversary Event at Nature’s Way, Easton, PA ~ 4/18/15

Earth Day Celebration at Whole Foods MarketBeverly Hills, CA ~ 4/19 – 4/21/15

Earth Appreciation Day at Diane’s New Dawn, St. Augustine, FL ~ 4/22/15

Earth Day Event at The Apple Crate II, Fayetteville, NC ~ 4/22/15

7th Annual Green Fair at Blue Cross Blue Shield Headquarters, Providence, RI ~ 4/22/15

Featured Fan: Bubblegum Buddy

The state motto of North Carolina is “Esse quam videri”—meaning to be, rather than to seem to be. Well, Chloe H. of Asheville, NC does her state proud. She is a true, blue chum to gum!

Chloe recently wrote to us to say, “I was always looking for a gum free of aspartame and GMOs. When I found Glee Gum, I was overjoyed to have discovered something that tasted so good, but was free of everything unhealthy, regular gum has. I also really like the packaging. It looks vintage!”

When she’s not busy chewing gum, you can find this vegetarian Carolinian reading, practicing Modern Dance, and assisting PETA with petitions. When she is chewing gum, Chloe reports, “My favorite is the bubblegum flavor. You make this classic taste better than any other gum on the market. Whenever I go to Earth Fare, I always make sure to get two packs to last. And my friends always compliment me on my delicious gum.”

See what we mean? She’s a friend to the end. As for the bubble in this picture she sent us—can it be what it seems to be? Never mind, we don’t want to burst it to see. Thanks for chew-sing Glee, Chloe!

Featured Fan March-April 2015 Chloe

If you would like to be considered as our next “Featured Fan”—and win a case of Glee Gum for the honor— simply send an email introducing yourself to our mascot, gleeguy@gleegum.com

 

A Gummy Reason to Enjoy Science Fair Season

It’s strange that science fair season in schools doesn’t happen around Halloween– because it can really freak out students and parents alike. But fear not, chums! We’ve got some fun ideas to see you through. Like, why not make it all about GUM?

Science Fair ProjectThere are lots of kid-friendly, gum-related hypotheses that can be developed for science fair projects. Start by exploring simple questions like: which gum brand or flavor lasts the longest? Which bubble gum brand makes the biggest bubbles? Which gum tastes the sweetest? In her science fair project a few years back (pictured above), Kayla from CA examined what makes Glee more environmentally friendly than other gum– and got an “A”!

For a greater challenge, take a gander at some of the recent studies on chewing gum. See what further research you can do on gum’s surprising benefits, like the ability to boost test scores, counter fatigue, and lower stress levels. If you think chewing gum improves concentration, how might you confirm this? For another interesting angle, watch this chewing gum ad examine social perceptions of gum-chewing by featuring identical twins.

Our Make Your Own Candy Kits and gum base also make great jumping-off points for experimentation. And you can find more fun facts and inspiration in our site’s sections Learn More and For Educators & Inquiring Minds. For other gummy ideas, check out eHow and HubPages. Before long, you may find yourself wishing that science fair season would “stick around” all year!

The Easiest Bubblegum Ice Cream Recipe Ever

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Especially when we look at the ingredients in most ice cream.

Give your vocal chords a rest and your mouth a treat with sweet, natural, homemade, bubblegum ice cream– made from bananas! No matter the season. You don’t need a reason. It’s ICE CREAM and it’s always delicious.

 INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Peel bananas.
  2. Place them in the freezer for an hour.
  3. Slice bananas.
  4. Put them in the blender & blend to a creamy consistency.
  5. Stir in Glee Gum pieces.
  6. Scoop & enjoy!

Banana Bubblegum Ice Cream

Featured Fan: Our Inbox Idol

Sometimes an email can brighten your whole week. Such was the case with this lovely message we recently received from Ellie B. of Columbus, OH.

Featured Fan Ellie B

“I just wanted to thank your company for the wonderful sugar-free gum. I have a rare stomach disease where my stomach & digestive tract is paralyzed and I rely on a feeding tube for nutrition. Because of this I miss out on eating a lot of fun foods with my friends and family, however I recently tried your sugar-free Glee Gum. I’m allergic to aspartame and so I normally can’t chew gum. Your gum was absolutely amazing though and definitely fulfilled the craving for wanting something sweet or wanting to eat something by mouth. So I just wanted to thank your company for all the hard work you do and for creating such a wonderful product! I now don’t feel so left out. I will definitely continue buying from your company!”

Ellie’s condition is called gastroparesis, and it sounds incredibly challenging. But Ellie has a great spirit! She had been hospitalized for two weeks when she snapped this cheerful picture and sent it our way. She also sent us a movie recommendation: “Frozen”! Ellie can quote the whole film. We look forward to taking her advice and giving it a look-see this weekend. We’ll be thinking of her when we do!

If you would like to be considered as our next “Featured Fan”—and win a case of Glee Gum for the honor— simply send an email introducing yourself to our mascot, gleeguy@gleegum.com

A Challenge to Choose Health

It’s one month into the new year. Are all your resolutions out the window already? Fret not, gum chums! Our friends at Naturally Savvy can get you back on track—and completely change the way you look at food, too!

NSscary-splash2Each one of Naturally Savvy’s Get Healthy Challenges explains why you should avoid (or include) specific ingredients in your diet. It also provides practical advice to help you make healthier choices at the grocery store. With fun videos guiding your journey, all of these informative and interactive challenges are a great way to get (and stay!) healthy.

Plus, when you sign up for one of Naturally Savvy’s challenges, you’ll have access to money-saving coupons and the chance to receive free samples of organic and non-GMO products… maybe even some Glee Gum! Learn more and sign up here.

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