A “Top 5” list for Fair Trade month

Throughout the month of October, numerous consumers, retailers and producers will unite in order to celebrate and promote the benefits of fair trade. Join the celebration by taking some or all of the following “Top 5” simple actions to highlight your support for the fair trade movement. We hope that this list will inspire you to make changes that, while apparently simple, will have a significant impact on the well-being of the people who produce the goods we consume.

  1. Commit to purchasing one Fair Trade product on a regular basis. Choose a product that you consume regularly, like coffee, tea, sugar, bananas or chocolate. Buying Fair Trade products represents a tangible action to counter poverty. And what could be simpler than replacing a product you are already buying with its Fair Trade equivalent? You will notice that the Fair Trade product is of at least comparable if not superior quality to what you were purchasing before.

  2. Support Fair Trade certification bodies with social media.  The simple action of “liking” the Facebook pages or following organizations such as Fairtrade Canada and Fairtrade International contributes to supporting Fair Trade. You are not only increasing the credibility of these organisations by growing their support base, but you are also increasing their visibility since your Facebook friends and Twitter followers will witness your support of Fair Trade and might look into learning more about it. As an added bonus, you will receive lots of useful information posted by these organisations. While you’re at it, why not support FTOÉ by checking out our Facebook page and Twitter account?

  3. Ask for Fair Trade products at your regular shopping spots. The next time you’re running errands, why not ask the retailers if they have a certain Fair Trade product? As an example, Fair Trade bananas are still somewhat difficult to find. Since most of us lead busy lives, we don’t always have the time to buy our groceries in multiple stores. But if more people asked their grocers whether they carried Fair Trade bananas, perhaps they would choose to order some. That would make the task of purchasing Fair Trade bananas much easier. In business, supply and demand is the bottom line – so let’s increase the demand!

  4. Plan a Fair Trade Halloween. It is rather convenient that Halloween falls within Fair Trade month. Fair trade chocolate has become widely available, even in snack sizes, perfect for giving out to the “trick-or-treaters” in your neighborhood. Who knows – their parents might notice that these bars are different from the others in their kid’s loot and try to find out more about where they’re from. The local, Ottawa-based company Camino offers 3 varieties of snack-size chocolate bars. But be careful – make sure to keep some for the kids!  If you happen to feel a little more adventurous this Halloween, you might consider dressing up as a Fair Trade banana, as FTOÉ volunteers do all year round!

  5. Give the gift of Fair Trade. Although the beautiful autumn weather we’ve been experiencing has kept us in denial, Christmas will be upon us before we know it. Why not get a head-start on your Christmas shopping by starting now to think about fairly-traded gifts for your loved ones? A great place to shop is Ten Thousand Villages, which offers tons of gift ideas for all tastes, at more than reasonable prices. Not only will you be giving high quality gifts, but you will also be sharing the importance of supporting Fair Trade with the recipients. In addition to products such as Fair Trade coffees, teas and chocolates, Ten Thousand Villages offers jewelry and accessories, home decor and Fair Trade gifts hand-crafted by artisans around the globe.  By selling their products and telling their stories, Ten Thousand Villages supports artisans in developing countries and helps them receive fair and stable income. But don’t take our word for it – join us at the Westboro’s Ten Thousand Villages (371 Richmond Road) on the evening of November 14th, and you will see for yourself that you can get all your Christmas shopping done in one place!

With these 5 simple actions, everyone can support Fair Trade. Happy Fair Trade Halloween!

By Jasmine Lefebvre

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