Fair trade products

There are many fair trade products available in Ottawa! While coffee is perhaps the best-known, everything from soccer balls to cotton to food can be certified! If you aren’t quite sure where to find fair trade vendors, click on your desired product below for some suggestions. We are working on a more comprehensive fair trade finder, so please check back for that.

Click each item to learn more!

Bananas

If you want your banana to be even better, you can now get fair trade bananas! You can get them at the Herb and Spice Shop on Bank street, Rainbow Foods and any location of Farm Boy. If you’ve seen them in other spots, let us know!

Beauty products

Soaps, creams and balms are reasonably easy to find with fair trade ingredients now! Lush Cosmetics now uses certified ingredients in their products where they can (think coffee and sugar scrubs, for example), while Ten Thousand Villages (in-person and online) sells lots of soaps from fair trade producers.

Chocolate

Chocolate is almost as famous as coffee now in the fair trade world! You can find fair trade chocolate in pretty much every major supermarket in Ottawa (sometimes in the organic aisle), and definitely in the health food stores, where you’ll find the biggest selection of all!

Coconut

Camino (an Ottawa-based fair trade legend!) makes awesome shredded coconut for baking and fair trade coconut oil is also sometimes used in beauty products like the ones sold at Ten Thousand Villages (in-person or online).

Coffee

Fair trade coffee is so well-known now that you’d have to be living under a rock not to know it exists! As a result, you’ll have no problem finding it in the organic aisle of your nearest grocery, or at any of the health food stores in Ottawa. Heck, you can even get at it some pharmacies!

Cotton

Cotton is one of the most commonly-used materials in clothing, and now it can be certified under fair trade standards! The process of making clothing is very complex and certifying every step along the way is a logistical challenge that the strongest certifiers are still trying to sort out. However, in the mean time, you can get clothing made from fair trade cotton, which at least means that the producers—who often are working in really dreadful conditions under conventional trade—are protected. Check out ETIK’s online store for some cool fashions made from fair trade cotton!

Flowers

If you’re lucky, getting fair trade flowers in Ottawa is as easy as going to your nearest major supermarket! Both Loblaws and Metro have been known to carry fair trade flowers.

Gold

That’s right, gold can now be certified by Fairtrade International! The simplest place to find fair trade gold jewelry is the Fair Trade Jewellery Company’s online store.

Handicrafts

Perhaps the most catch-all category on this list, myriad handicrafts made by fair trade producers are available for sale at Ten Thousand Villages. We aren’t aware of other stores in Ottawa, but if you know of one, be sure to let us know!

Olive oil

Olive oil is only available under the Fair For Life label, but you can get fair trade olive oil from Zaytoun at Ten Thousand Villages and (kind of randomly!) at Aladdin’s Bakery on Carling.

Rice

While many shops are still catching up on this product, you can find fair trade rice from Level Ground at select retailers. Ten Thousand Villages most reliably has it (in-store or online).

Shea butter

Since we’ve learned that this oil is very nutritious for the skin, many shea products line store shelves, but few of them are fair trade. To get fair trade shea butter, visit Ten Thousand Villages (in-person or online), where they carry both raw shea and shea-based products.

Spices

There is a vast array of spices and seasonings available in a fair trade variety. The most prominent of those available in Ottawa is Arayuma brand, whose products you can find most often at health food stores and Ten Thousand Villages (in-store or online).

Sports balls

Often sports balls—especially soccer balls—are known to use child labour in their production. If you can find a fair trade ball, you know that no children were harmed or exploited in the making of the ball! They are still hard to find in Ottawa, but you can check out the Y-Focus online store to see what they’ve got!

Sugar

Fair trade sugar is truly the sweetest sugar! You can find whole brown sugar, golden cane sugar and even powdered sugar (icing sugar) in fair trade varieties on the market. Check out your local health food store for the best selection, although you may find fair trade cane sugar in the organic aisle at major groceries if you’re lucky!

Tea

There is an incredible assortment of fair trade teas on the market! You will find lots of cafés in Ottawa that serve fair trade tea (Bridgehead is just the beginning!), and you can purchase fair trade tea at health food stores and in the organic aisle of most major groceries.

Wine

You can find fair trade wine at your local LCBO! Usually you will find them in the South American or South African sections, as these are the two main areas where fair trade producers make wine.

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