by Mary Linnell-Simmons, Marketing & Communications Manager
World Fair Trade Day is this Saturday and people from coast to coast will be celebrating everything Fair Trade.
This year, we are calling on people all over the world to stand up and show their support of coffee farmers through the World Fairtrade Challenge. A hundreds of passionate people have signed up to drink Fairtrade coffee this weekend and dozens of groups are hosting events to showcase Fairtrade products to their communities.
We spoke with three event organizers about what they’re doing, where and why.
Event 1: The Silver Bullet Office Coffee Break
Adding a hipster twist to the traditional workplace coffee break, Christine of La Tourangelle oils is hosting a Bulletproof Coffee Break at their offices in Berkeley, CA. In case you didn’t know, Bulletproof Coffee involves putting a big gob of butter or coconut oil in your hot coffee, mixing it up and enjoying the touted health benefits.
La Tourangelle is very careful about how their source their oils and sell Fairtrade certified virgin coconut oil. Their goal is to drink 100 cups of Fairtrade coffee throughout the week. When asked why they wanted to join the World Fairtrade Challenge, Christine replied, “We know how important it is to offer fair compensation to supplier. We have an organic Fairtrade coconut oil and we know the difference it makes to pay a little more. With this extra money, our coconut farmers and workers in the Philippines can set up community-based programs to improve education, living conditions and organic farming ability.”
Christine sums up Fairtrade in these 5 words: Consciousness, Generosity, Sharing, Delicious, Energy.
Event 2: Goodbye and Good Luck Party
The end of college can be a deeply emotional time when students move on to exciting careers in sometimes faraway places. What better way to celebrate together one last time than a Farewell Fairtrade Party?
The Fair Trade Club at SUNY Geneseo is doing just that – celebrating the work of the graduating seniors on May 13th, the day before their formal ceremonies. When asked about their event, organizer, Benjamin Conard, said, “We wanted to participate in the World Fairtrade Challenge to be part of an exciting time when a lot of people are standing together in the fair trade movement. And who doesn’t like coffee?!”
Benjamin sums up Fairtrade in these 5 words: Fairtrade products reflect my values.
Event 3: Organizing the Community
Small towns often embody everything that is good about communities working together. In downtown Staunton, VA, four stores are joining together to celebrate World Fair Trade Day with the other 24,000 residents.
If you’re in that neck of the woods, check out Harmony Moon, The Sacred Circle, Latitudes Fair Trade, and Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery for Fairtrade chocolate, coffee, food, gifts and more. There will also be crafting events, sales, charity donations, samplings and other activities on Saturday, May 14th.
Education is key to the event organizer, Sally Scimé, owner of Harmony Moon. She stated, “We hope to educate consumers on what it means when a product or food item is labelled 'fair trade' and that the worldwide Fair Trade movement helps to lift farmers and artisans out of poverty and into a better life.”
Sally sums up Fairtrade in these 5 words: Fairtrade equals a better world.
There is still time to register an event to take part in the World Fairtrade Challenge. Go to www.fairtradechallenge.org now. Check out the video below for instructions.