This program was made possible with financial support of the Government of Manitoba,
and was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
Posted March 14th 2008
More than 1,000 Manitobans, representing more than 50 businesses, community groups and churches, have spent the month thinking about global trade while enjoying 25,073 cups of fair-trade coffee.
Fair Trade Manitoba’s One-Month Challenge ends today, with participants showing support for producers in the developing world by pledging to drink fair trade coffee and tea, and eat fair trade chocolate for 30 days.
As one participant responded in a weekly survey, the One-Month Challenge helped them “know I am doing something to improve the world, and find out that it’s not that difficult.”
While final totals are still being collected, participants in the One-Month Challenge drank an estimated 25,073 cups of fair-trade coffee and 12,604 cups of fair-trade tea, and spent $8,602 on fair-trade chocolate and $15,758 on other fair-trade items.
“As these results suggest, the 2008 One-Month Challenge represents one of the most significant positive expressions of consumer demand for socially responsible products ever undertaken in Manitoba,” says Patrick Falconer, chair of Fair Trade Manitoba.
“Fair Trade Manitoba and the One-Month Challenge are part of the growing wave of people asking for socially responsible products. Fair-trade goods are becoming increasingly available, and we’re trying to support that change by helping people become more aware of the issues and realize that they can make choices that make a difference to producers in the developing world,” says Janice Hamilton, executive director, Manitoba Council for International Cooperation.
Fair trade creates tangible benefits for producers and their communities. According to a study of coffee cooperatives in Costa Rica, fair trade participants had 39% higher income than those that did not participate.
In addition to increased income for individual producers, fair-trade provides benefits to communities through a premium built into the price of fair-trade goods. This support goes to projects like building schools and health clinics or improving water and sanitation. Other benefits include improved democratic structures and greater community participation. (The attached backgrounder provides more details on the benefits of fair trade.)
Assiniboine Credit Union (ACU) and the Manitoba Nurses’ Union (MNU) were key supporters of the One-Month Challenge. More than 50 organizations across the province, including businesses, non-profit organizations and churches, joined the One-Month Challenge and encouraged their members and staff to participate.
Fair Trade Manitoba is continuing to work with retailers and consumers to spread the word about the benefits of fair trade and encourage its wider availability in the province. A program of the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation, Fair Trade Manitoba brings together a network of individuals, families and organizations to promote fair trade issues and fair trade products.