Article: Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Challenge

Written by Cafe Campesino on Dec 1, 2003 in Article, NEWSLETTER |
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Editor’s Note: In a recent letter to their members (excerpted below), Global Exchange issued a challenge to purchase only fair trade goods this holiday season and beyond. Check out the following list of resources and for all your personal and gift-giving needs.

With the holidays approaching, many of us will be buying gifts for friends and loved ones. As people who are concerned about people all over the world, we may find ourselves wondering how to make sure we spend our dollars ethically, and ensure that the gifts we give benefit those who made them as well as those who receive them. Thankfully, lots of great purchasing alternatives exist, such as Fair Trade coffee and chocolate, and fairly traded goods from around the world.

This holiday season, Global Exchange is issuing the Fair Trade Challenge – buy ALL of your holiday gifts from Fair Trade sources! Read on to find out why Fair Trade is so important, where to find fair trade goods, and how to get involved in Fair Trade action.

WHY BUY Fair Trade Certified and fairly traded?

As Café Campesino’s regular customers are no doubt well aware, millions of coffee farmers are facing severe poverty, hunger, and loss of their farms as a result of a price crash in the global coffee market. Due to insufficient cocoa prices, many cocoa farmers have found it necessary to have their own children work instead of going to school and some have even resorted to using child slaves. Producers of tea and other commodities face similar hardships, unable to make ends meet with the income received through sales in the “free” market. As corporations expand their operations across borders, we have seen a race to the bottom for labor and wage guidelines. Workers in developing nations are facing rapidly worsening poverty while large transnational corporations pull in increased profits at their expense. Solutions to these problems are available. Fair Trade products such as coffee, chocolate, cocoa, and tea guarantee producers a minimum price per pound and access to credit, support sustainable production, and prohibit abusive child labor and forced labor. Fair Trade products offer farmers economic security and hope for the future. It is also becoming easier to find clothing, crafts, and other goods derived through fair labor and wage conditions. Fair trade stores and on-line retailers are growing in number each year, while union-made clothing is also becoming more widely available. This holiday season, and thereafter, give fair trade and show how much you care for our global community!

WHERE TO BUY Fair Trade Certified and fairly traded Products

Fair Trade coffee and tea

Buy it from Café Campesino! http://www.cafecampesino.com/shop

Fair Trade chocolate and cocoa — Find lists at:

Global Exchange http://store.globalexchange.org/chocolate.html

TransFairUSA
https://www.transfairusa.org/content/
products/prd_cocoa.jsp

Fairly traded crafts, household goods, clothing and other goods —

Fair Trade Federation
www.fairtradefederation.org

SERRV
www.serrv.org

(See Fellow Fair Traders in this issue)

Co-op America
www.coopamerica.org

Fair Trade Resource Network
www.fairtraderesource.org

10,000 Villages
www.tenthousandvillages.com

No Sweat “Union Mall”: One-stop shopping for union-made goods in the USA
www.NoSweatShop.com

UNION MADE holiday gifts

The Union label is the best guarantee of fair labor and wage standards in the USA. And yes, in this Wal-Mart world, it’s still possible to find U.S. union made clothing. You’ll find union made products on the following online stores:

No Sweat “Union Mall” and No Sweat Apparel
www.nosweatapparel.com
No Sweat’s new “Union Mall” offers one-stop on-line shopping for clothing (t-shirts, fashion athletic wear, sweats, hoodies, denim jackets, scarves, hats, and more) and other items such as books from a variety of unionized shops and companies.

SweatX
http://sweatx.net/
L.A.s first union cut and sew shop. Wholesale T-shirts and retail items.

Diamond Cut Jeans
http://www.diamondcutjeans.com
“The last union made jeans in America, all cotton, all union.”

Union Threads
http://www.unionthreads.com
Union made decorated work wear.

BOOKS & RESOURCES: Give the gift of awareness and activism on Fair Trade & Globalization

Books/Videos Available from Café Campesino
All of the following are available at www.cafecampesino.com/shop

The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry From Crop to the Last Drop — Gregory Dicum & Nina Luttinger. 2000 (196 p). — This engaging, informative book is full of facts, figures, cartoons, and commentary, covering coffee from its first use in Ethiopia in the 6th century to the rise of Starbucks and other specialty retailers in the 1990s. It tells how international trade and speculation that can make or break entire national economies, considers the exploitation tied to mass cultivation, and explores the growing Fair Trade movement.

A Cafecito Story — Story by Julia Alvarez, Illustrations by Belkis RamÌrez. 2001 (58 p). Fictional/semi-autobiographical story by famed writer Julia Alvarez shows how Fair Trade impacts coffee farmers and coffee drinkers. This book tells the complex tale of a social beverage that bridges nations and unites people in trade, words, birds, and love.

Santiago’s StoryTransFair USA. 1999 (16 min video). Accompanying discussion guide by Global Exchange. A rich, uplifting documentary about Fair Trade and the dramatic changes it has brought to the lives of a Nicaraguan coffee farmer and his family. It is the story of over 500,000 small farmers around the world who have turned to Fair Trade for a decent wage. A powerful tool for education, this film shows the tremendous impact we can have in the lives of people like Santiago when we choose to buy Fair Trade coffee.

Global Exchange K-12 Fair Trade Chocolate education materials — Global Exchange has coloring/activity books for grades K-2, 3-6, and a JrHigh/High School Education & Action Guide. These materials teach kids about child labor and exploitation in the cocoa industry and help them take positive action in support of Fair Trade. These materials can be sent via mail for a suggested donation of $5 each, or downloaded free at www.globalexchange.org/cocoa.

Books/Videos Available from Global Exchange
All of the following available at www.globalexchange.org/store

About Cocoa/chocolate, coffee and Fair Trade

The Conscious Consumer: Promoting Economic Justice Through Fair Trade — Fair Trade Resource Network. 2000. A 22-page overview of the North American Fair Trade movement.

NEW!! Harvest of Hope: Life in the Kuapa Kokoo Cocoa Cooperative in Ghana by Phil Grout. 2003. With beautiful color photos spread throughout the story, this book gives a glimpse of the daily life of farming and trading cocoa in West Africa.

Coffee With Pleasure: Just Java and World Trade by Laure Waridel, Foreword by Maude Barlow. 2001 (173 p). Using coffee as an example, this book shows how our current trading system perpetuates poverty and injustice, and explains how the Fair Trade system breaks the cycle of exploitation and environmental destruction.

The Strength of the Indigenous People of Mut Vitz: Producing Fair Trade Organic Coffee in the Highlands of Chiapas — Produced by The Mut Vitz Coffee Cooperative with the Chiapas Media Project. 2000 (Tzotzil and Spanish, with English subtitles, 27min video). This documentary looks the organic coffee farmers of the Mut Vitz Coffee Collective in Chiapas, Mexico. Over a year in the making (by two members of the collective), this film traces the entire Fair Trade/Organic coffee production process: from seedling to transplant, from cultivation to the roasted bean. The film shows the challenges the collective faces in processing their coffee for market and their achievements through Fair Trade.

About Fair Trade Crafts

Artisans and Cooperatives: Developing Alternative Trade for the Global Economy — Eds. Kimberly M. Grimes & B. Lynne Milgram. 2000 (208 p). Bringing together case studies from the Americas and Asia, this collection addresses the interplay between craft production and the global market. It contributes to current debates on economic inequality by offering practical examples of relevant political, economic, and cultural issues.

About Fair Trade and the Global Economy

No Nonsense Guide to Fair Trade — Ed. David Ransom. 2001 (144 p). Fair Trade primer that offers chapters on NAFTA, Fair Trade coffee, chocolate, and bananas, blue jeans, where to buy Fair Trade goods, and more.

The No Nonsense Guide to Globalization — 2001 (144 p). This book traces the journey towards a ‘borderless’ world and shows how the promise of globalization is seductive, powerful – and ultimately hollow.

Chapters include a history of globalization, the Bretton Woods Trio, debt and structural adjustment, corporations, global economics, poverty, environment, the market, and ideas for redesigning the global economy.

Views from the South: The Effects of Globalization and the WTO on Third World Countries — Martin Khor, Vandana Shiva, Walden Bello, Oronto Douglas, Sara Larrain, & Anuradha Mittal, forward by Jerry Mander, ed. Sarah Anderson. 1999 (100 p). A comprehensive perspective on the WTO from some of the leading voices from the South. The authors debunk the idea that global instruments benefit the Third World or the poor, and show how the South in fact bears extra burdens from the rules of trade.

On Child Labor

We Need to Go to School: Voices of the Rugmark Children — Complied by Tanya Roberts-Davis. In their own words and drawings, Nepalese children talk about their early years in poverty-stricken villages, their work as virtual slaves in carpet factories in Kathmandu, and how they felt when they were given a chance to attend school and pursue their dreams for the future.

On Activism

Take It Personally: How to Make Conscious Choices to Change the World — Anita Roddick. 2001 (256 p). From the protests in Seattle to the perseverance of people like Julia Butterfly Hill and Vandana Shiva, we’re seeing a growing resistance to globalization and its negative effects. Anita Roddick (founder of The Body Shop) presents here a vibrant collection of photographs, essays, montages, and quoted on the driving issues behind globalization from impassioned writers and activist organizations. This is the definitive handbook for anyone who wants to learn about the issues and make informed choices.

Global Uprising: Confronting the Tyrannies of the 21st Century — Stories from a New Generation of Activists — Neva Welton and Linda Wolf. 2001 (273 p). In a world of mounting turmoil and violence, understanding the sources of increasing discontent at a global level is a great need. Global Uprising gives voice to more than 60 activists who are all standing up against this violence, from groups such as Art & Revolution, Bat Shalom, Circle of Life Foundation, Earth Rights International, Global Exchange, Global Youth Connect, Heads up Afrique, JustAct, Ruckus Society, Third Eye Movement, United Students Against Sweatshops, Youth for Environmental Sanity, and more.

FIND OUT MORE about Fair Trade Campaigns

Global Exchange: Coffee, Chocolate/cocoa, FTAA/WTO and more
www.globalexchange.org/cocoa
www.globalexchange.org/coffee

Fair Trade Resource Network
www.fairtraderesource.org

Oxfam America
www.oxfamamerica.org

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