What Can You Do?
Our consumer choices here in Manitoba have an impact on people around the world.
Using fair trade products is one concrete way that we can make connections with global South. It’s a step in the right direction to know where your coffee or tea or other products come from, and can be confident that a farmer is getting a fair price for their produce and their work.
What Can An Individual Do?
- Purchase Fair Trade products, whether food, clothing, handicrafts, furniture or other items.
- Join Fair Trade Manitoba’s Facebook Group to receive information about upcoming events and discuss fair trade issues with others.
- Support merchants and organizations who sell fair trade - let them know that you approve and buy other products they sell, as well.
- Learn about fair trade issues and encourage your family, friends and colleagues to also support fair trade.
- Through Letters to the Editor, personal visits and so on, let your local media and elected representatives know about fair trade, where FT products are available, and what fair trade-related events are coming up. Get politicians to put fair trade on their agendas.
- Promote and facilitate “North-South” community to community relationships between people in your town and fair trade producers. This might mean fundraising, or helping Southern groups get access to our markets, or just sharing their story with your community to increase support for fair trade.
- When gift-giving, at Hallowe’en, Valentine’s Day, Christmas or birthdays, choose the fair trade option when it comes to chocolate, flowers, clothing or jewelry. Show your love for family and friends by showing your love for people and the planet! Click here for some more ideas on how to have a Fair Trade Hallowe’en.
What Can Your Group Do?
- Faith Community - your congregation could serve fair trade coffee and tea at all of its functions and on an everyday basis. Bring a speaker in to talk with your congregation about fair trade at a worship service or special event. Play a Fair Trade game/activity with the children or youth groups, or read a Fair Trade children’s book during Children’s Time.
- School - your staff room and cafeteria could serve fair trade coffee and tea, as well as make fair trade products, including sports equipment, available at school events. Bring a speaker in to your school to talk about fair trade at an assembly or in appropriate classrooms. Interested in becoming an official Fair Trade School or Fair Trade School Division? Contact us to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Union Local - serve fair trade coffee and tea at your meetings and events, and bring in a speaker to talk about fair trade, co-operatives, and international solidarity. Make your next conference, fair, or event, a Fair Trade Event by submitting an application to email@example.com
- Workplace - arrange for the appropriate staff person or coffee service to supply your workplace with fair trade products. This may be as simple as requesting fair trade from your current suppliers (Keurig cups come in fair trade too!). Add fair trade to the agenda of a staff meeting to explain the background to the issue. Make your next conference, fair, or event, a Fair Trade Event by submitting an application to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Media - let your local media know about fair trade. Have your group hold an event aimed at media coverage to introduce the topic of fair trade and let local people know what it is and where they can purchase fair trade products. The media loves new ideas: an art exhibition featuring the human impact from fair trade, a Carrotmob encouraging the public to support businesses that follow ethical business practices, fair trade chocolate tastings or coffee cuppings … the list goes on and on!
- Community - pull together a committee of neighbours, colleagues and friends from around your community (school, church, council, credit union, etc.) to be a part of the Fair Trade Towns Campaign. You can have your community recognized nationally as a Fair Trade Town by meeting several not too difficult criteria - see more at www.fairtrade.ca
And of course both individuals and groups can participate in the Fair Trade Challenge beginning October 31st. But there are infinite possibilities when it comes to learning about and promoting fair trade. Be creative and let us know what you’re up to!