OTTAWA, October 20, 2012 – Enjoying that delicious, fairly traded coffee, tantalizing your taste buds and raising your awareness levels as you flip through The BUZZ? Perfect. Do you know where those coffee beans came from, and what impact their production has had on the world, or the people that grew them? Would you be surprised to learn that proceeds from those specific beans helped a community build a school or hospital, or provide clean drinking water to its people? Do you like the idea of everyday purchases making a difference in impoverished and often marginalized countries?
Well they can, which makes our purchasing power undeniable! We can make the choice to dish out our hard-earned dollars to producers who value sustainability, the environment and human life over profits! And even though they are great examples of success, these product choices aren’t limited to coffee, tea and cocoa. There are many products you can select every day that have the Fair Trade logo on them. Every time you purchase Fair Trade, you are helping move toward a global change.
By closing the link between consumers and producers, Fair Trade items guarantee a product’s value is not manipulated by middle men, but standardized at a mutually sustainable level, with additional subsidies set aside to allow a community’s growth and forward progress. In return, consumers can enjoy a socially and environmentally responsible product that has given opportunity to people who have historically been exploited for profit. It’s as if with each purchase the suggestion can be offered: “We are with you!”
Fair Trade Ottawa Équitable is a local advocacy group designed to spread awareness about the global Fair Trade movement, at a grassroots level. Established in early 2011 and gaining momentum every day, we are an eclectic team of dedicated and enthusiastic citizens, working towards the goal of Ottawa being recognized as a Fair Trade Town, a tangible designation indicating a per capita involvement and awareness of this movement.
It’s our mission to make this happen! We have been meeting with City Council and local merchants to get them on board—but this goal requires your help! Through community action and fun awareness campaigns, we have hit the streets to spread the word collecting your signatures of support. You may have seen us at Westfest, Great Glebe Garage Sale, or Folkfest in our unmistakable Fair Trade Banana costumes sharing Fair Trade goodies. And as you could probably tell, we have a lot of fun getting the word out!
We are always glad to welcome new members, occasional volunteers, general inquiries, student support or, of course, messages of support. Please get in touch through our website (fairtradeottawa.ca) and please remember to always consider your power as a consumer.
– JENNIE VIDETO, FAIR TRADE OTTAWA ÉQUITABLE