Fair Trade


Find information on the Fair Trade Christmas Market that will be here at American Martyrs on the weekend of November 16-17

Taken from CRS Fair Trade web site: http://www.crsfairtrade.org/youareknown/

“Works of love directed to one’s neighbor are the most perfect external manifestation
of the interior grace of the Spirit.”  - Pope Francis

“This summer I traveled down the Danube River with my family, and in the Wachau Valley of Austria we were told that apricots were a local gem that could be found in jams, lotions, liqueurs and more. So upon our arrival in the fabled town of Durnstein, I had one goal only: to find some jam!

“Along the cobbled streets many stores offered unique apricot products, but it was not the stores with factory jars that intrigued us. There was one worn man, perhaps in his mid-eighties, standing alone on the street with a makeshift table full of jars of jam. I walked up to him and pantomimed as only an American who knows no German can do, pointing gently at him asking “You…make?” He nodded vigorously and said “Ja! Ja. I make,” with a massive proud grin. Then I ventured further to ask, “What is your name?” I pointed to myself saying, “Stephanie, Stephanie…” After a moment he cocked his head and said “Lay-oh-pold!” “Leopold?! Danke,” I said, thrilled that we had achieved this small victory in communication. Leopold then handed me my apricot jam, his hands worn and calloused with work, and we smiled for just a short moment at one another before I was bustled along in the crowds.

“I love fair trade because it affords us opportunities like this one of KNOWING. Before I was acquainted with the movement, I truly never thought about where my coffee or cocoa came from. But fair trade opened my eyes and prompted me to ask questions like who am I buying gifts for, who am I buying gifts from, who made the gift? Our fair trade campaign this fall comes from this very idea that knowing is love, solidarity, and justice.”

In celebration of Fair Trade Month, the following excerpts are taken from the book FAIR TRADE: BEGINNERS GUIDE, by Jacqueline DeCarlo, A One World Book, 2007, reprinted, 2010.

“One of the great strengths of Fair Trade coffee is that it is structurally set  up to serve small scale farmers, people on the margins of national economy and global economy… Part of Fair Trade’s power and potential is its promise of poverty reduction. That is real because farmers own their farms. They are poor and marginalized but they do have their land. Fair Trade allows them to invest in that land and in social infrastructure to strengthen their communities.  As development practitioners we have to find more ways to do that and more ways for consumers to join those efforts.

“Yes, but does Fair Trade work?"

There is no doubt that Fair Trade is growing, especially in terms of volumes of sales worldwide. Behind the sales figures are more than five million producers and their families.  Here are some real-life impacts of Fair Trade:

“My husband had a minor heart attack and he had to take different medicines at different times. Because of the Adult Education classes [at my cooperative], I could read the doctor’s prescription and give him the right medication at the right time. He cannot read and he was quite impressed that I could."
        Savita Solanki, India
                Pushpaujali Textile Cooperative

“The marriage between Fair Trade and farmers has helped lessen the poverty for my people. Fair Trade has saved the lives of poor farmers. And participating in Fair Trade requires that both buyers and growers are disciplined, honest and fair."
Ashenafi Argaw, Ethiopia
Sidma Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union

“I like the way Fair Trade connects daily consumption to issues of global injustice. I am a professor of Human Rights in Latin America. I have trouble helping students understand the relevance of what they learn. Fair Trade draws bridges explicitly. It is very empowering for consumers."

Angelina Godoy of Seattle, Washington
        Member of Fair Trade Puget Sound

Please find Fair Trade products and let your dollars speak your values!