Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

FAIR TRADE FOR THANKSGIVING
Make this Thanksgiving a celebration of justice and hope for farmers and artisans worldwide
October 26, 2004

Co-op America, the Fair Trade Resource Network, the Chicago Fair Trade Coalition, and Oxfam America are making sure people put Fair Trade products on their shopping list - whether they are buying coffee, tea, or chocolate to serve at their holiday meal, or purchasing gifts for friends and loved ones.

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest grocery shopping days of the year and this year, concerned individuals, businesses, student groups, faith congregations, and community-based organizations across the country are joining together to make November 20th a day to celebrate and promote Fair Trade.

On November 20th, Fair Trade advocates around the country will unite to pass out flyers about Fair Trade to shoppers at their local supermarkets, host community events, and hold Fair Trade coffee tastings to encourage people to make Fair Trade a part of their Thanksgiving celebrations.  Together, we can help ensure that this holiday season delivers a bounty of justice and hope to family farmers and artisans worldwide.

By shopping for Fair Trade, asking supermarkets and other retailers to carry more Fair Trade products, and educating communities about Fair Trade, people are making a difference in the lives of farmers and artisans worldwide.

Small-scale producers in developing countries are being pushed further into poverty in a market that seeks cheaper and cheaper goods to sell in markets in the global North.  For example, coffee farmers currently receive far less than what is need to cover their cost of production, feed their families, and keep their children in school.   Coffee farmers trading in the Fair Trade system receive a floor price of $1.26 per/lb – and hope for a brighter future.

Fair Trade ensures a fair price for products, investment in people and communities, environmental sustainability, empowerment of farmers and women, and direct, long-term relationships between importers and producers.  Fair Trade is designed so small-scale producers receive a living wage and improve the prospects of their communities and their families. It also offers consumers a way to channel their purchases into socially responsible products that support farmers who might otherwise receive less than the cost of production for their goods.

Products certified by TransFair USA, the only third party certifier of Fair Trade products such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and fresh fruits, can be found in supermarkets and other retail outlets across the country.  But more needs to be done to increase the amount of products available in the marketplace and raise consumer awareness about Fair Trade.

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