October is National Fair Trade Awareness Month

Fair Trade USA Celebrates More than a Decade of Helping Americans Use Daily Purchases to Support Global Farmers

Sep 29, 2010, 20:16 ET from Fair Trade USA

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- October is Fair Trade Month, and Fair Trade USA (formerly TransFair USA), the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, today launches the organization’s seventh annual national Fair Trade awareness campaign. Themed “Every Purchase Matters,” Fair Trade Month unites Fair Trade USA’s diverse corporate, nonprofit and individual supporters in hundreds of events, promotions and fund-raising activities across the United States. The goal is to generate awareness of Fair Trade and to empower consumers to use their day-to-day purchases to improve the lives of farming families and protect the environment. Additionally, Fair Trade USA’s Board of Directors will match every contribution made to the non-profit organization during October, up to $10,000.

“Once limited to coffee, U.S. consumers can now choose from more than 6,000 Fair Trade Certified products that span cosmetics, chocolate, spices, produce, grains, flowers, wine, spirits, and even fashion,” said Paul Rice, President and CEO of Fair Trade USA. “The Fair Trade Certified label empowers consumers to make every purchase matter. It gives you the confidence that the high-quality products you love were sustainably produced and can have a positive impact on your own well being, on the people who produced them, and on the environment.”

In 2009 alone, consumer purchases generated more than $14 million dollars for education, health care, clean water and other vital social services to support the more than 1.2 million farming families in the Fair Trade network around the world. And Fair Trade supporters have contributed to significant momentum in 2010. Ben & Jerry’s and Green & Black’s kicked-off the year by announcing they would convert 100 percent of their products to Fair Trade Certified ingredients; Fair Trade USA reported that certified coffee imports were up 25 percent and 47 percent of all imports were also organic; Fair Trade cooperative CECOVASA was awarded the People’s Choice Award at the  Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Cupping Competition; and the Fair Trade Towns USA campaign increased the number of official Fair Trade Towns from 13 to 20, including Boston.

This Fair Trade Month promises to engage more consumers than ever before. Each day is sponsored by a different Fair Trade USA partner, many of which host events and promotions in honor of the day, including product tastings, giveaways on Twitter (@fairtradeusa) and Facebook (Fair Trade Certified) and discounts.  For full details, visit http://www.fairtrademonth.org/.

Highlights: Special Events

Fair Trade Month Kick-off Party

September 29, 2010, 8-12pm, Temple San Francisco, 540 Howard Street, San Francisco

$10 with RSVP before September 27 at http://fairtrademonth.eventbrite.com/; $15 at the door

The “Every Party Matters” event will raise awareness and funds to support the Fair Trade movement. Guests will taste appetizers made with Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients and custom cocktails made with the new FAIR. Vodka, the first-ever Fair Trade spirit. Sponsored by 7x7 Magazine, KFOG, Drink Me Magazine, HAE Now and Traditional Medicinals.

Fair Trade Speaking Tours

East Coast: October 4-14 – Free

The cocoa industry is not sweet for farmers in developing regions of the world. Learn how Fair Trade has helped farmers increase income, keep their children in school and empower their communities from cocoa farmer, Cecilia Appianim. Cecilia hails from a farmers’ cooperative of 45,000 members in Ghana. The 10-day tour kicks off in Media, PA and then visits  Montclair, NJ; New York City ; the Cleveland Fair Trade Expo; Milwaukee and Osh Kosh, WI; the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Global Fest in Chicago.

West Coast: October 12-25 – Free

Individual sugarcane farmers in Paraguay have low bargaining power, no access to price and market information and low prices that fail to provide sustainable livelihoods for their families. In 1999, Canera del Sur Sugar Cooperative became Fair Trade Certified. Francisco Ferreira, cooperative President, will share how Fair Trade empowers the farmers to receive better prices, as well as funds for community projects. The 13-day tour kicks off in Houston and then visits the University of Texas, Austin; Trinity University, San Antonio; Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY; Boulder, CO; University of Oklahoma, Norman; University of California, San Diego; Los Angeles and San Francisco.

For more information on either speaking tour, visit www.FairTradeTownsUSA.org.

Fundraising Event

October 24, 3-6pm, Mill Valley, California - $100/person

Celebrate “A Fair Harvest” with TransFair USA President and CEO Paul Rice. Hear stories of Fair Trade communities from around the world. Plus enjoy the music of singer and acoustic guitarist Diana Gameros, flavorful Fair Trade dishes, gourmet chocolate and Worthwhile Wines. For more information: Rachel Lee Holstein, rholstein@transfairusa.org

Ann Arbor Community Event

October 25, 7-8:30pm, Ann Arbor District Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan - Free

Maggie’s Organics hosts a fair-trade themed community event. www.maggiesorganics.com

Virtual Coffee Tasting

October 26

Green Mountain Coffee—and Costa Rican farmers who grow its coffee—host a virtual, guided tasting of Fair Trade Certified  Our Blend and Vermont Country Blend via UStream. RSVP and get a free sample at www.facebook.com/GreenMountainCoffee

Virtual Wine Tasting

October 27, 8pm EST/PST - Free

Worthwhile Wine hosts a virtual wine tasting with Partnership Vineyard’s Wine Maker Zakkie Bester. Join the guided tasting and submit questions at www.worthwhilewine.com. Order wines in advance and receive free shipping on orders of four bottles or more.

Austin, TX Boxer March Awareness Event

November 6

Sign up for the first-ever Boxer March and show your support for Fair Trade Certified skivvies. www.goodandfairclothing.com

Highlights: Promotional Offers on Fair Trade Certified Products*

  • AutonomieProject.com: 15 percent off all Little Green Radicals products.
  • BuyWellCoffee.com: $2 off 12 oz. bags, $3 off sampler packs and free shipping with the purchase of four or more bags
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: Pumpkin Lattes at 5,800 stores
  • Starbucks: Brewing Cafe Estima Blend™ daily at 10,000 stores, October 4-17
  • FairTradeSports.com: 20 percent off on select sports balls and giveaways
  • GreenandBlacks.com: $1 off any chocolate bar
  • Goodandfairclothing.com: Enter to win men’s and women’s lingerie
  • HaeNow.com: Free organic cotton, re-usable gift bag with every T-shirt purchase, plus free shipping for orders over $50
  • OneWorldFlowers.org: $35 off purchases of wholesale flowers (Code: FTMonth)
  • Shoprite: Featuring unique Fair Trade bouquets each week at 217 stores
  • Target Stores: $2 off Wandering Grape at select locations
  • TompkinsPoint.com: Enter to win a polo-style shirt on October 6
  • Worthwhilewine.com: 10 percent of Fair Trade wines sales during October will be donated to TransFair USA, orders include free shipping for orders of four bottles or more

*Terms and conditions apply. Contact provider for details.

Fair Trade Month Sponsors & Participants

Autonomie Project, Badger Balm, BuyWell Coffee, Calyx, Catholic Relief Services, Choice Organic Teas, Divine Chocolate, Fair Trade Federation, Fair Trade Spirits Company, Fair Trade Sports, Fair Trade Resource Network, Fairhills, Global Exchange, Good & Green, Green America, Green Mountain Coffee, HAE Now,  Heritage Link Brands, Honest, Indigenous Designs, Kopali Organics, La Yapa, Lutheran World Relief, Marigold Fair Trade Clothing, Nicobella, One World Flowers, Organic Wine Trade Company, Rishi Tea, SERRV, Starbucks, Tompkins Point, Traditional Medicinals, World of Good.com, Worthwhile Wine and Weaver’s Coffee & Tea.

About Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA (previously TransFair USA), a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment, and receive community development funds to empower and uplift their communities. Fair Trade USA educates consumers, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the Fair Trade system, and provides farmers with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople. Visit http://www.fairtradeusa.org for more information.


Stacy Geagan Wagner

Fair Trade USA