Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Understanding Fair Trade Labels

I have engaged in many conversations about fair trade over the years and on more than one occasion questions about fair trade certification has come up. Since the topic of certification is such a large and involved topic I won’t spend time here trying to answer all of the questions that I have heard.  However, I would like to refer you to the Fair Trade Resource Network, which has several webinars on its website targeting the ins and outs of the Fair Trade Certifying process.

In this blog entry I would like to present the labels that consumers should keep an eye out for when looking for Fair Trade. While there may be many vendors selling fairly traded or direct trade items, Fair Trade San Diego is unable to hold those vendors accountable to the principles of Fair Trade.  Therefore, we promote items that are certified with the following organization and therefore held to the standards of fair trade put forth by each certifier. Fair Trade San Diego encourages vendors to consider having their fairly traded items certified with the following organizations as well.

Read more here for an explanation of labels.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Visit from Fair Trade Towns USA

On Sunday, July 31st several supporters of fair trade gathered at CafĂ© Virtuoso to meet with Courtney Lang of Fair Trade USA and Gilbert Ramirez of San Isidro, Costa Rica, which was the first Fair Trade Town in Latin America.  The group discussed Fair Trade San Diego’s efforts to make La Mesa a Fair Trade Town and also heard first hand the positive affects fair trade has had on Gilbert’s community.  He discussed the strides his coffee and sugar coop are taking to spread the word and benefits of fair trade in his community and in Costa Rica.  The afternoon lead to invigorating and educational conversations, which deepened San Diego’s commitment to fair trade and its commitment to making La Mesa a Fair Trade Town.