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December 2014

 

In the spirit of giving, buy fair trade
Cynthia Eaton

 

fair trade 2014
FA members (from left) Lisa Melendez, Joan Cook and Kevin McCoy collaborate with Pattye Pece (in red) for this year's Fair Trade sale on the Ammerman campus on December 3. (photo by Kevin Peterman)

"Goods produced under conditions which do not meet a rudimentary standard to decency should be regarded as contraband and not allowed to pollute the channels of international commerce."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Kevin McCoy (Library) used the above quote to encourage international commerce at this year's FA-sponsored fair trade sales. Held on December 3 on the Ammerman campus and on December 10 on the Grant campus, the sales raised $3,177 for worthy laborers around the world.

coffee and birdhouses
Felt birdhouses and equal exchange coffee were among the fair trade wares at this year's sales. (photo by Kevin Peterman)

Pattye Pece collaborates with the FA each December to bring her fair trade wares to campus. Pece, of World Village Fair Trade Mobile, sells only 100% fair trade merchandise from over 25 countries around the world.

Joan Cook (Library) said, "An important component of the fair trade sale was that the students were very receptive to it. Many took the time to ask questions and learn about fair trade and its implications on third world communities. Pattye was so kind to take the time to share her expertise in the field and was able to tell about the various items and their country of origin." Cook added, "I also believe that her sales specifically went to benefit children."

Bruce Seger (Library) also indicated that he was pleased with the turn out and interest of both faculty and students. "The fair trade sale," he noted, "highlights the talents of individuals around the world, the importance of fair wages and working conditions and the fact that quality items can be created for a reasonable price without exploiting workers."

Seger continued, "The climate for some time now in both the public and private sectors has been to blame all problems on workers and their groups. What we should all remember is that unions and labor organizations are not the problem, they are the solution."

world united
More of the fair trade wares at this year's sales. (photo by Kevin Peterman)

Normally when we think of giving during the holiday season, we think of charity. Of donations. But there are other ways to give, ways that are predicated on fairness and dignity—and decency.

When you buy fair trade goods, Pece notes, you know that the producers are being paid fairly, with a wage that enables them to support their families, rather than being exploited. You are also assured that sustainable methods of production are used and that the work environment is safe, healthy and free of child labor/sweatshop practices.

marc fellenz
FA member Marc Fellenz (Philosophy), among other shoppers, helped make this year's sales a success. (photo by Kevin Peterman)

These are smart ways to give during the holiday season and all year round.

If you're interested in learning more about our FA-sponsored fair trade sales, contact our community outreach coordinator, Tim McHeffey.

Or join our socially conscious colleagues and choose fair trade gifts for your friends and loved ones this year!