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The Fair Trade movement in northeast Ohio has been grounded in the hard work of non-profit organizations and Fair Trade-only retailers for many years. Starting about 16 years ago, the InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF) became engaged in the Fair Trade movement partnering with Equal Exchange for IRTF’s Café Salvador Project.  Over the years, businesses (like Heinens) began selling fair trade products in their stores.  Universities like John Carroll University and Hiram College, along with some high schools, started selling fair trade coffee and chocolate as fundraisers.  Read More


Mark your calendars!  The next Ohio Fair Trade Teach-In & Expo is scheduled for October of 2016.

Initiated in 2005, The Teach-In & Expo brings people together from across the state to learn about and become more involved in supporting FAIR TRADE – a model for socially and environmentally conscious consumerism.

Teach-In & Expo 2016 hosted by the Ohio Fair Trade Network and John Carroll University is scheduled for October of 2016 at the John Carroll campus in University Heights. 

Last year, our keynote speaker was Brian Backe, Catholic Relief Services Senior Director of US Programs & Resources.  We hosted artists from Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Soceity, a co-op in Palestine, selling items made of olive wood and mother-of-pearl.  We had a fabulous list of workshops ranging from the basic principles of fair trade, fair trade fashion, to the importance of fair trade pricing as well as a special program for high school students.  We even had some entertainment at lunch, a Fair Trade Musical!  You’ll have to come to next year’s Teach-In & Expo to see what it’s like!  Check out last year’s schedule, HERE.

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Cleveland Heights council establishes Fair Trade Zone in the city

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — The city officially became a “Fair Trade Town” on Monday (March 16) as council threw its support behind a more fully-realized global economy.  In doing so, Cleveland Heights became only the second Fair Trade Town in the state, joining Dayton.  This was met with rejoicing by a delegation representing the Ohio Fair Trade Network, promoting a system of exchange that honors producers, communities, consumers and the environment…. READ MORE