Tag Archives: Fair Trade

Get Ready - FT Campus Week

Canadian Students Choosing to Chew More Fairly

A special guest post by Mélissa Dubé, Outreach and Marketing Manager, Fairtrade Canada.

Meanwhile, in Canada… more than 50 campuses across the country are getting ready for the 5th annual edition of Fair Trade Campus Week! Campuses in all 10 Canadian provinces are gleefully working to prepare all sorts of dynamic activities to raise awareness about Fairtrade.

What is exactly Fair Trade Campus Week, you may wonder?

Fair Trade Campus Week is a fun-filled week bursting with activities where Campus life and businesses intersect to create tremendous educational and promotional opportunities for all. Each participating campus comes up with different activities to talk about Fairtrade. To give you an idea, last year 20 companies and 43 campuses participated with more than 23,000 people receiving Fairtrade product samples and many more who were engaged through different initiatives, including social media.

To support Campuses, 23 companies (including our friends Glee Gum!) have generously agreed to donate Fairtrade certified products. Imagine that: students across the country will learn about Fairtrade while happily chewing Glee Gum samples! Biggest Fairtrade bubble gum of all time next, perhaps?

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Why do we do Fair Trade Campus Week?

Julie Francoeur, Fairtrade Canada’s Executive Director explains it best: “Campuses are first and foremost a place of learning. They have also always been the place where great ideas collide, revolutions take place and solutions to many of societies challenges are born. As the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Guiding Principles for Businesses on Human Rights start to shape the way companies do business in the Global South, Fairtrade offers a vibrant concrete tool to empower development through trade. Campuses across Canada have been a force of nature for Fairtrade in the previous years and we are seeing companies and retailers across the country engaging with Fairtrade as a result of the deep commitment they sense from younger generations. Fair Trade Campus Week is a great opportunity for students to celebrate the impact they are having for farmers and workers across the world. That Fairtrade cup of coffee won’t only help you stay awake through that early morning lecture or to finish that paper, it also helps an entire coffee community!”

Find out more about the impact of our work by visiting our website and our sister organization Fairtrade America for more details.

What’s new this year?

Every year, new Campuses and businesses jump on board and this generates new ideas and potential new partnerships (as an example, Concordia University became Canada’s first Campus to carry 100% Fairtrade bananas). We’re excited to witness innovative ways that Campuses will take to talk about Fairtrade. In the meantime, there are a couple of new planned initiatives that folks can take part in:

– On Tuesday, September 26 at 4pm ET, we invite everyone to take part in our first ever Twitter Chat to talk about Fair Trade Campus Week. Participants could win a bag of Fairtrade products! Make sure to use #ChatFairtrade and to follow us @fairtradecanada.

– By now, you probably understood that Canadian campuses are always ready to go above and beyond, and this year they’re doing exactly that again! Campuses across the country are leading the World’s Largest Fair Trade Bake Sale on September 28, a day that folks will want to make their way to a Campus to indulge in sweets made with Fairtrade Ingredients. For more details: fairtradebakesale.ca

Get active!

Bookmark our Tumblr page to stay in the loop and make sure to use the hashtags #FTCampus and #CampusÉquitable! Specific to the World’s Largest Fair Trade Bake Sale, be sure to use #fairtradebakesale and #ventepatisseriesequitables.

Happy Fair Trade Campus Week to all!

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More to Chew on, Fair and Square

We’re delighted to share a guest post by Kyle Freund, Digital Content Manager at Fairtrade America.

Last month may have been Fair Trade Month, but why not celebrate all year long? Remember, being fair is about more than just looking for a #FairTrade label (though that is an important part). Being fair means thinking about the things you buy and how they’ve made their way to your shopping cart. Every bar of chocolate, every piece of gum, every single banana in the bunch has a story to tell.

Here are a few facts and tips to chew on the next time you grab a shopping cart, or the next time you see a friend considering that tin of cheaply-produced coffee, or the next time you’re looking at a lovely black frock with a price that’s too good to be true (it likely is).

Get the facts – Looking into where your food and clothes come from can help you live your values. Did you know that 25 million smallholder farmers grow 80% of the world’s coffee, but many aren’t earning a living they can depend on? Or that there over 20.9 million victims of forced labor and human trafficking around the world?

These things aren’t fair. Investigate and get information on the reality behind what you buy.

• Arm yourself with info from Fairtrade America’s section on farmers and workers.
• Check out SlaveryFootprint.org to learn about your ‘Slavery Footprint’ and how you can help fight forced labor.
• Check out the work of advocacy organizations, like Green America or Oxfam to keep up to date on current issues.

Ask the tough questions – You have a right to speak up. Don’t just take what’s on the shelf. Let shop owners know that you’re looking for fairly traded and ethically-produced goods. Ask questions about where products come from.

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Understand Fairtrade’s impact – Fairtrade has a Theory of Change outlining the world we want to see and our place in it. An important part of our work is making sure that we’re making an impact for farmers and workers. According to recent research:

• Fairtrade certification helps Ugandan coffee farmers increase household living standards by 30 percent and significantly reduces the prevalence and depth of poverty (Chiputwa, et. al, 2013).
• Workers on Colombian banana plantations reported an average 34 percent increase in income due to their affiliation to Fairtrade. 98 percent consider that their quality of life has improved since joining Fairtrade (CODER, 2014).
• In a sample of 51 Mexican coffee farmers (26 Fairtrade and 25 non-Fairtrade), there is a proven connection between Fairtrade certification and environmentally-friendly farming practices (Jaffe, 2012).

Fairtrade farmers and workers frequently tell us how certification helps them improve their businesses and their communities, but much of that impact comes when they can sell their products on Fairtrade terms. Support brands, like Glee Gum and others that carry the Fairtrade Mark.

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Remember that Fairtrade is just one part of the solution – Creating a more sustainable world is a huge undertaking and Fairtrade is one tool in your ‘change-maker’ utility belt! A good approach is to shop LOFTy – local, organic or Fairtrade – for maximum effect.

Take the Fairest State Quiz – This one’s just for fun. Follow our friend ‘Greg’ through his day and help him make good, fair choices. Along the way, you’ll find out how fair you really are! Check out fairtradeamerica.org/faireststate.

So, don’t just rest on your ethical shopper laurels. Cogitate before you masticate!

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Kyle Freund is a lifelong advocate of conscious consuming, from his youth growing up on a small-scale dairy farm in Wisconsin, to his service with cooperatives in the US Peace Corps, to his work with coffee farmers in Latin America. For the past six years, Kyle has helped Fairtrade International in Bonn, Germany, and Fairtrade America tell their stories and the stories of the farmers and workers they serve.