Metro Ottawa – Trade in the Hallmark card

EWB volunteers, Valentine's Day 2011

EWB volunteers Sarah, Matt and
Mohammed pose with Fair Trade
gifts for Valentine’s Day.

OTTAWA, February 14, 2011 – Buy your sweetheart a fair trade gift for Valentine’s Day and you can show them how you feel and avoid the crass commercialism of what for many has become a greeting card holiday, says the Ottawa chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB).

“There’s a bit of a backlash around Valentine’s Day and this is one way of reclaiming it,” said EWB member Sarah Button. “Maybe you can use it to help a bigger cause.”

While fair trade coffee has become commonplace, less well known are fair trade chocolate, wine and flowers — staple gifts of Valentine’s.

Many flowers purchased here come from Ecuador and Kenya, places where seasonal workers are traditionally hired to meet the rush,   then laid off just as quickly.

Button says fair trade flower, chocolate and wine firms give workers a greater share income from sales.

– SEAN MCKIBBON, METRO OTTAWA

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