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World Fair Trade Day

May 9, 2009

This morning my children and I met my parents at the Ten Thousand Villages store in Staunton.  East to West Gifts, owned by the Terry family, is filled with gifts from Peru to Pakistan.  May 9, 2009 is World Fair Trade Day and so we went to participate in the drum circle.  The slogan for the day was “Bang your drum for a fair trade solution” and many types of drums were available to touch and play.

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world fair trade day

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As we explored the store we saw so many beautiful things (and thankfully we didn’t break any of them).  My son was drawn to the wooden trains and cars.  He loves toys with wheels.  My daughter spotted a family of three llamas and wanted to be sure to get a photo of them.  Both of them were also drawn to the wooden recorders.  She and I picked out a bar of soap from India.  It smells so divine that I am keeping the paper box close by.  As part of the promotion of fair trade, we were given two pencils with tiny drums on the ends.  The drum pencils were handcrafted by artisans in Kenya.

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world fair trade day

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world fair trade day

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world fair trade day

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At East to West Gifts, they offer chocolate and coffee traded by Equal Exchange.  I bought a bar of organic very dark chocolate for me and another one to give to one of you.  All of the ingredients are 100% fair trade certified (organic cocoa liquor, organic raw cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic unrefined whole cane sugar, organic ground vanilla beans).  The cocoa beans were harvested in the Dominican Republic and Peru.  Leave a comment on this post before midnight May 12th if you would like to win.  At that time I will close the comments.  The winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by an update in this blog post and by email.

In your comment, please tell me what you think of the fair trade business model.  Is fair trade labeling influential in some of your choices as a consumer?

UPDATE:  The winner of the giveaway is Ikkinlala (#2 out of the 6 comments).  Thanks to everyone who participated!

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6 Comments
  1. May 9, 2009 7:55 pm

    I’m glad you were part of World Fair Trade Day. Our target this year is to have 55,000 people participate – I think we’re going to smash that!

    Global Fayre is a Fair Trade store in the downtown area of Springfield, MO. We definitely see an increase in people that want to incorporate their values into their purchasing decisions.

  2. ikkinlala permalink
    May 10, 2009 1:48 am

    I generally choose fair trade products when they’re readily available, but not at the expense of local products.

  3. Emily Cox permalink
    May 10, 2009 1:58 am

    Sarah,
    So glad you all made it to the celebration at East to West gifts – I had forgotten about it and we took a day trip to Winchester. My husband has been immersed in learning about Fair Trade over the last few years and was instrumental in including a movie about Fair Trade in the Valley Market movie series at the Dixie. We try to buy fair trade chocolate and coffee whenever possible.

    Looks like you all had a great time today – thanks for sharing and raising awareness!

  4. Emily N. permalink
    May 10, 2009 11:23 pm

    I’m just recently starting to be aware of fair trade products. Generally I try to buy organic products and I’m assuming (maybe incorrectly) that organic products are more likely to be fair trade than conventional products.

  5. Keane Matthews permalink
    May 12, 2009 10:44 am

    Sarah,

    Thank you for helping to spread awareness of fair trade. I have not been exposed to fair trade chocolate, but choose to support fair trade coffee production through the frontier co-op. I will gladly look for fair trade choices in other products that we use at home.

  6. May 12, 2009 12:52 pm

    Great post! I like the fair trade model, as we have some disposable income, and I do worry about the ways that workers especially those far away are treated, I’m willing to pay more to know that workers are paid fairly. I definitely look for the fair trade label for coffee and chocolate – since those are produced far from home, it’s the one way (well the easier way) I have of knowing least a little about the conditions and practices used by the farms and manufacturers. I haven’t seen that label on much else, though it would definitely influence me positively towards a brand that was fair trade.

    Also, I love dark chocolate, so I love this giveaway you’re doing!

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