Category Archives: Ohio Fair Trade BLOG

Warm Up Your Winter with Fair Trade

The holiday season invites us to be our best self.  It celebrates the virtues of generosity, peace and charity.  The New Year offers us an opportunity to re-assess our lives, identifying ways that we can better live our ideals.  One way we manifest our ideals and values is through how we shop.

Every purchase that we make promotes a value.  All too often, our consumption reflects indifference to the way those who produce our goods are treated.  In light of the deplorable wages, inhumane working conditions, human rights violations and lack of opportunity for personal advancement that exists at the bottom of our supply chain, we must ask ourselves whether we honestly subscribe to the universal challenge to “treat others the way we would want to be treated.”  Can any of us honestly say we would be comfortable with the thought of ourselves, or someone we care about, working 7 days a week and 12 to 16 hours a day, just to survive?

In the upcoming months we, at the “Ohio fair trade network,” would like to offer practical suggestions relating to how consumers can use their purchasing voice to create a demand for goods produced in a way that respects workers.  Helen Keller challenges each of us to recognize “I cannot do everything; but still I can do something.”  Buying fair trade is something we can do to show we care about our marginalized brothers and sisters.  We also invite all of you to share these ideas with your friends and families, remembering another wise saying, “when we dream alone it is only a dream; when we dream together it is the beginning of a new reality.”

 DSC_0001January Challenge:

The holidays are about togetherness and community.  Who doesn’t love sitting in a coffee shop or in front of a fireplace sharing her or his favorite hot beverage with a group of loved ones?  This simple celebration warms our spirit during this cold season reminding us that we are not alone, that we are valued and that we are part of a community.  The truth is we are part of a larger “earth community.”  A simple choice to buy fair trade coffee, tea or hot chocolate can celebrate the fact that our connectedness transcends our inner circle of friends and testify to a global solidarity.

Buying fair trade beverages is an easy and delicious way to show that you care about our brothers and sisters in the developing world and that you care how workers are treated.  We invite you, this January, to begin (or continue) a habit by making your next coffee, tea or hot chocolate purchase fair trade.

It’s also worth noting that fair trade coffees and teas are priced competitively with other high quality brands.  Check the ‘Ohio Fair Trade Network’s’ facebook page this month for weekly links detailing the condition of the workers that produce our coffees, teas, etc. as well as information on fair trade options.  If you would like to go further with your commitment to fair trade during the winter you might also look into fair trade coats and sweaters as well as fair trade sugar for your drink.

Tune in next month to explore ways that we can kiss exploitation goodbye during the Valentine’s season by purchasing fair trade flowers, chocolates, and/or jewelry for someone you care about.

David Laguardia, Walsh Jesuit High School Teacher, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

 

Uganda Artisans Make Ohio Fair Trade Expo Special

Attendees at the Ohio Fair Trade Expo this year are going to be in for a treat.  The first 150 registrants at the Expo and each of the Girl Scouts participating in the Fair Trade Education program will receive a handmade bag produced by One Mango Tree artisans in Uganda.

To register for the Ohio Fair Trade Expo click here!

To learn more and register for the Girl Scout fair trade education program click here!

To learn more about One Mango Tree visit: http://www.onemangotree.com/

Buy Fair Trade – Spread the Word!

Are you committed to supporting a sustainable economy by buying fair trade products?
Do you purchase a Fair Trade Certified cup of coffee or tea each day?
Do you wish more people knew about fair trade?

The fair trade movement and growth of the fair trade market is growing each and every day in the state of Ohio, but it could grow more AND you could be part of it.  The Ohio Fair Trade Network has developed a simple way for you to share the news of your fair trade purchase with people across Ohio, the U.S., and the world!

LEARN HOW!
Each time you purchase a fair trade product take just ten seconds and fill out a super-easy online form at our website found at: http://goo.gl/EKQEF

Once you fill out this form we will TWEET (that means share on Twitter) the news of your fair trade purchase with more than 1,000 people following Ohio Fair Trade Network on Twitter.  It will give people throughout Ohio, our country, and our global community the opportunity to learn how important fair trade is to Ohioans!

So, the next time you make a fair trade purchase, make sure to complete the form at: http://goo.gl/EKQEF - it will only take 10 seconds but will have ripple effects for farmers and artisans for years to come!