The Northwest Fair Trade Coalition launches outreach to local businesses and community organizations to create Portland’s first Fair Trade Directory for World Fair Trade Day

Portland, OR (May 12, 2012) – Northwest Fair Trade Coalition, Portland’s local economic justice and fair trade coalition, plans to create Portland’s first ever Fair Trade Directory. Local businesses and community organizations who sell fair trade products will be listed in the directory so that people will have a local resource to know where to find and purchase authentic fair trade products. Fair trade products are made under safe and healthy working conditions, free from exploitive child labor and in accordance with international fair trade principles. The directory will include local grocers and identify what fair trade products they carry, as well as faith organizations who serve and sell fair trade goods.

The group will announce the directory on Saturday, May 12th in honor of World Fair Trade Day, the nation’s largest fair trade event of the year, at the new downtown Portland World Market. The community can enjoy live international music and dance performances all day, free wine tasting, fair trade espresso and purchase handcrafted goods from a few businesses who offer fairly traded products represented at the market. Members of the Northwest Fair Trade Coalition will stand in solidarity with thousands of people in 80 countries worldwide on World Fair Trade Day to highlight the importance of a business and trading model that supports fair wages and healthy working conditions for producers around the globe. By making more fair trade products visible and available to our community, we will increase consumer awareness and purchase of fair trade products, strengthen our local economy and create solutions to end global poverty.

With this directory, we aim to enhance the visibility of fair trade in our community and enable consumers to connect with local businesses and organizations that sell fair trade products. “We believe that more people will support and purchase these products if they know where to buy them,” says Sarah Mitts, owner of Awaz Voice for Empowerment, a local business offering fairly traded handmade products from India and chair of the Coalition.
Local businesses and organizations who carry fair trade products can send an email to nwfairtrade@gmail.com to be sent information about how to be involved and a survey.
WHO: Northwest Fair Trade Coalition member businesses, community organizations and individuals.
WHERE: the new Portland World Market, located next to Ankeny Plaza in the old Fire Engine Museum building, neighboring the Portland Saturday Market
WHEN: Saturday, May 12th, 2012
TIME: 11:00 a.m.
The Northwest Fair Trade Coalition is a volunteer organization of local socially responsible businesses, community organizations and activists united in raising the profile of economic justice in trade and promoting fair trade products within Portland. Fair Trade is a trading relationship, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade between producers in developing countries and businesses and consumers in more developed areas around the world. The Fair Trade system ensures that people along the supply chain receive fair wages, that workers and communities are treated with dignity and producers take steps to preserve the environment. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia and other parts of the world.

The launch includes a series of events organized by coalition members:

May 17 : Northwest Fair Trade Coalition’s Fair Trade Third Thursday program at Equal Exchange featuring a presentation by a local representative from Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, makers of the best selling Certified Organic and Fair Trade Personal Care products. Learn more about their business model, fair trade certification with IMO’s “Fair for Life” program and new products. People can discuss and learn more about fair trade with local businesses, organizations and individuals involved in the movement, get resources, enjoy free samples of Dr. Bronner’s products and taste fair trade coffee, snacks and sweets. Raffle of fair trade products worth $50. 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.), 1033 SE Main. http://www.drbronner.com/
May 20 – 23 : The 2012 Fair Trade Federation annual conference will be held May 21 – 23 (Monday – Wednesday) in beautiful Bellevue, WA, just outside of Seattle. The conference will provide practical training in all aspects of fair trade, and provide a forum for sharing ideas and reaffirming fair trade principles. www.fairtradefederation.org/conference2012
May 24 : Bean of Affliction: Chocolate, Child Labor and Choosing Fair Trade. Havurah’s Tikkun Olam Committee and Portland Tuv Ha’Aretz invite you to come to learn about what Fair trade really means and how its goals relate to Jewish values. Founder of Fair Trade Judaica will be present to share more about their work. You will get a chance to taste some delicious fair trade chocolate, watch the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate, and do some on-the-spot activism. 7:00 –9:00 p.m., Havurah Shalom, 825 Northwest 18th Avenue. csa@portlandtuv.org
The Dark Side of Chocolate is a 45 minute documentary by award winning journalists, Miki Mistrati and U Roberto (Robin) Romano, which investigates the continued allegations of trafficking and child labor in the international chocolate industry and goes undercover to visit cocoa plantations in West Africa. This event is free!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Northwest Fair Trade Coalition launches outreach to local businesses and community organizations to create Portland’s first Fair Trade Directory for World Fair Trade Day

  1. I wish this guide will be on-line only. We’re already cutting down way too many trees for phonebooks. A bad model. On-line is the future. Let’s meet there.

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