People Unseen

“I pity a man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.”

Benjamin Harrison,23rd President of The United States

I was trying to find some funny quotes on pity the other day to make a comment on a friends Facebook page when I came across this quote from Benjamin Harrison. It immediately made me think of the principles of Fair Trade and the journey I have been on over the past 2 years. It got me thinking about the different ways we treat people and how that treatment may differ based on two categories: people we see and people we don’t.

I’m sure most of us have seen people in desperation, people begging for assistance. In my community they can be seen on a bench outside the local Safeway playing some type of musical instrument with an open container at their feet that has a few coins or bills in it. Continue reading

“Best in Fair Trade” Awards Open for Nominations of Business & Nonprofits

Fair Trade Resource Network has launched “Best in Fair Trade” Awards for N. America nonprofits & businesses. The public can nominate (by March 31), and vote, for U.S. & Canada 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!

, or , nonprofits and businesses before March 31. The public will then for any finalists during April.

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I’m stepping out to try something new. I’ve had a strong urge over the past 6 months or so to do what I could to promote the use and awareness of Fair Trade goods to the everyday consumer. Last April I began my journey of discovering what Fair Trade was all about. After an event on social justice I met a couple who were starting a committee to make our town a Fair Trade Town (part of ). My wife and I joined the committee and in September of that year Healdsburg was recognized as a Fair Trade Town. I have learned so much in these past months and I want to pass that knowledge on to others. In addition, I have a vision of encouraging the growth of a new community; a community of conscientious consumers. It is said that “Every Purchase Matters” and I am a firm believer in this way of living.

So how do we make fair trade a part of our everyday lives? Where can we find fair trade?  What does it mean for a product to be fair trade certified? Is this just a fad or a marketing scheme? Should we purchase whatever we desire or do we have a responsibility to know where the products we buy come from? Does this take the place of “buying local”? Do our purchases really have an impact on communities and persons in another part of the world?

These questions, as well as others, shall be the topic of this blog. I intend this to be a place to get information, gain knowledge and share your experiences with fair trade. I am still learning and finding ways to adjust my lifestyle to be a more ethical and conscientious consumer. I hope you will join me on this journey and discover for yourself why “Every Purchase Matters”.