Category Archives: Fair Trade Your Life

Join us for the ZAP Spring International Celebration!

The Zimbabwe Artist’s Project is hosting a special celebration! Join us and other Fair Trade advocates in welcoming Mr. Kelvin Hazangwi, a special guest from Zimbabwe. There will be a Fair Trade Marketplace, an exhibit of Weya art, live African music, snacks, and a craft table for the kiddos! NWFTC and ZAP will be joined by these wonderful organizations, all with items for sale or information on getting involved with their projects!


2:00 pm – 7:00 pm

107 Washington St. 1st floor

Portland, OR 97214

The Zimbabwe Artists Project is a non-profit organization that helps women artists from Weya in Easter Zimbabwe become more economically self-sufficient. Women of Weya are subsistence farmers, mothers, and householders as well as artists. Most women live on their own, providing for families. Some are widowed, others are single heads of households, since throughout Zimbabwe men leave the rural areas to seek work in cities. ZAP helps these women through education opportunities and through the sale of their artwork.
Join the celebration, and support ZAP and these other great organizations!

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Fair Trade Chocolate and Gifts and ‘Raise the Bar Hershey’ for January ‘Portland Fair Trade Third Thursdays’ with the NWFTC

JOIN US in kicking off the year with the ‘Raise the Bar Hershey!’ campaign and our monthly night featuring local organizations dedicated to fair trade and economic justice.

Shop fair trade chocolate and gifts for Valentine’s Day at our Member Marketplace!


In 2011, the NWFTC showed four film screenings of the acclaimed documentary, ‘The Dark Side of Chocolate’, to help raise awareness about the child labor and trafficking in the cocoa trade around Portland. We passed out over 400 Reverse Trick-or-Treating kits promoting fair trade chocolate to communities in Portland and we’re gearing up for more!

We’ve created a space for fair trade in Portland where you can get resources for your community, shop fair trade and get involved in the local movement to make Portland fair trade!

NWFTC Fair Trade Third Thursdays @ Equal Exchange

January 19th

‘Chocolate Awareness and Fair Trade Desserts and Gifts for your loved ones on Valentine’s Day’

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Equal Exchange, 1033 SE Main, Portland


  • Raffle of Gift Basket filled with fair trade goodies worth $50
  • Enjoy FREE Equal Exchange chocolate and hot cocoa and desserts made from fair trade baking cocoa!
  • Member Marketplace offering Fair Trade wine, flowers, chocolate and gifts from local fair trade businesses
  • A presentation on ‘Raise the Bar, Hershey!’ campaign and actions to get behind


NW Food Front Cooperative Monthly Film Series

Screening of ‘The Dark Side of Chocolate’

Wednesday, February 8th

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

NW Multnomah County Library, 2300 Northwest Thurman Street, Portland


Check out Equal Exchange NEW Fair Trade Valentine Card Set with chocolate minis available for purchase at Food Front!

Enjoy FREE chocolate and drinks!



In 2010, 4 leading organizations – Global Exchange, Green America, International Labor Rights Forum and Oasis USA – started ‘Raise the Bar Hershey’, a campaign to put pressure  on Hershey, the largest US chocolate company, to take action to end child and forced labor in its supply chain and to adopt Fair Trade Certified cocoa.

Almost ten years since chocolate companies committed to ending child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in their cocoa supply chains, these egregious labor rights abuses continue. While many chocolate companies have taken steps to trace their cocoa purchasing and implement labor rights standards among their suppliers, the Hershey Company lags behind its competitors. Hershey has no policies in place to trace its cocoa and protect workers.

Get all the facts on Hershey, latest reports and press releases and sign the petition!


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Get Involved in Upcoming Campaigns and Events

Reverse Trick-or-Treating
Use this Halloween as an educational opportunity for your local community! When you sign up for Reverse Trick-or-Treating from Global Exchange, you will receive a kit that will give you the resources to spread the news about Fair Trade. Then on the big night, when you and your kids head out to receive your treats, treat your neighbors to some Fair Trade chocolate and an information card in return. Go to more information.
Reverse Trick-or-Treating is one way you can help:
  • END poverty among cocoa farmers
  • END forced/abusive child labor in the cocoa industry
  • PROTECT the environment
  • PROMOTE Fair Trade

The chocolate industry is one of the biggest sources of income in Africa yet in is dependent on child slave labor. Children are exposed to not only exploitative but dangerous conditions in order to produce the chocolate we buy from major companies. Global Exchange is working diligently to make chocolate giants like Hershey rectify the injustices in their production and begin selling Fair Trade chocolate. Reverse Trick-or-Treating is one way for you to get involved in ending the abuses of the chocolate industry and supporting Fair Trade chocolate. You can read more about Fair Trade Chocolate on Global Exchange’s website.

October is Fair Trade Month!! We will be updating the blog with many other events, opportunities and campaigns as this important month gets closer!

Portland Fair Trade Holiday Marketplace
For the second year in a row some of Portland’s most unique businesses and organizations gather to share about their work and offer fairly traded food, products and gifts from around the globe for purchase. Fair Trade products that reflect your values from NWFTC members and other individuals and faith based organizations representing Fair Trade producers from around the world. Co-sponsored by Economic Justice Action Group (EJAG) of First Unitarian Church.

Date: Sunday, November 13, 2011

Time: 10-4 p.m.

Location: First Unitarian Church, Buchan Building

Stay tuned to the blog for more details!

If you would like more information about any of the ideas in this or another “Fair Trade Your Life” post, or help getting started, please email

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Fair Trade Your Events and Holidays: Fair Trade Fundraisers and Home Parties

Everyone knows how much shopping occurs around the holidays and other special events. Take a twist on traditional consumerism this year by inviting Fair Trade into your house or school.Partner with the NWFTC to host a Fair Trade awareness and education event in your community to learn more about Fair Trade and how you can support the movement. We can give a talk, screen a movie, start a discussion, or any combination of these!

AWAZ, one of our members, will also help you fundraise! The holidays and special events often inspire giving, especially in faith communities, and AWAZ wants to help you support your cause. If your school participates in an annual wrapping paper sale, think about implementing a Fair Trade Fundraiser instead. By selling Fair Trade products, you can earn 15% of all the proceeds for your cause. Learn more here.

Fair Trade one of the most special days of your life by incorporating Fair Trade into your wedding. You can create a registry at retailers such as Ten Thousand Villages or Global Exchange. Also check out this Fair Trade Wedding Guide from for tips on how to Fair Trade the clothing, the invites, the gifts and more.

Choose a NWFTC member, such as AWAZ Voice for Empowerment, and host a Fair Trade Party. Think tupperware or candle party, but with fairly traded, eco-friendly products. Learn more about AWAZ’s Fair Trade Home Parties here.

A very important way to Fair Trade your holidays is to buy Fair Trade gifts for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, weddings, Christmas and any other occasion. You have the power to buy Fair Trade for all your loved ones.


If you would like more information about any of the ideas in this or another “Fair Trade Your Life” post, or help getting started, please email

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Fair Trade Your School

No matter what your association with the local school – student, teacher or parent – you can help your school source ethical products and set a positive example that will inspire the upcoming generations.

  • Food Sourcing – Programs such as Farm to School are becoming more popular as America activates its concern about children’s eating habits. You can encourage not only healthy eating but social responsibility by encouraging your local cafeteria to use fairly traded products in school lunches.
  • Sweatfree Collegiate Gear – Everyone loves to show their pride by sporting gear with the team logo and mascot. Make sure that awesome sweatshirt didn’t come from a sweatshop by asking your college to join universities across the nation in demanding that nothing with their logo and colors was produced in unethical working conditions and create a Sweatfree Policy. Universities can sign on to the Designated Suppliers Program through the Worker Rights Consortium. Go to Alta Gracia Apparel for a sweatfree alternative for college apparel. For more resources, check out the Sweat-Free Campus Campaign page from United Students Against Sweatshops. For the K-12 set, school uniforms can also be made Fair Trade at
  • Fair Trade Sports Balls – When you are playing during recess, you can Fair Trade your sports equipment by checking out Also, for the best running and playing Fair Trade shoes, go to
  • Fair Trade Lesson Plans – Teachers have so much influence in what our children learn and think. Help to educate students about the reality of global working conditions and the benefits of Fair Trade with Fair Trade lesson plans from, and  Fair Trade applies to everything from economics and geography to sociology and history classes!
  • If your school does fundraiser sales such as cookie dough or wrapping paper, let the Northwest Fair Trade Coalition help you set up a fair trade fundraiser sale. You keep 15-20% of the proceeds but also encourage supporters to shop with their values! Email for details on how to set up a fundraiser sale with one of our organizations.
  • You can also invite the NWFTC to come give a talk or table at a school event!
If you would like more information about any of the ideas in this or another “Fair Trade Your Life” post, or help getting started, please email

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Fair Trade Your Congregation

A spiritual practice is a logical place to practice social values and ethics. If you are interested in making your congregation more Fair Trade friendly, check out the resources for faith groups on Equal Exchange’s Interfaith Program.

Also, Partners for Just Trade created a Fair Trade bible study called “Fair Trade: Using our Purchasing Power for Justice and Hope” for congregations to use that you can find online here. The study focuses on biblical passages about justice but is also a Fair Trade educational tool. It is a great way to get your small group focused on global issues and the spiritual call for making a difference.

Holidays are an important time for congregations – make your next holiday fair trade by hosting a Fair Trade Holiday Fundraiser, Dessert Party or Gift Bazaar. You can use the holiday to raise money for a favorite cause and host a fundraiser sale with a percentage of the profits coming back to you, or you can host an event to help congregants buy their gifts in line with your shared values.

Many congregations across the country have made Fair Trade holiday bazaars an annual event. For example, Ecumenical Campus Ministries at Kansas State University began their first Fair Trade Holiday Marketplace 5 years ago and today it brings in 15 vendors and grosses nearly $30,000 in sales. it’s become a well-known annual event that everyone looks forward to for their gift buying!

Last year, we had the first Fair Trade holiday bazaar in Portland. This year you can link to the PDX Holiday Bazaar – or have your own!!  Look for an upcoming post on the bazaar for more information or email Sarah at

Like in the workplace, you can also make sure your place of worship serves Fair Trade coffee and treats before and after services. You can also hold Fair Trade educational events for the community, such as movie screenings.

Incorporate these aspects of a Fair Trade congregation and you can join our Portland Fair Trade directory!

If you would like more information about any of the ideas in this or another “Fair Trade Your Life” post, or help getting started, please email

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Fair Trade Your Workplace

One easy place to start with your workplace’s social responsibility is right next to the water cooler.

  • Do you serve Fair Trade coffee and tea in your breakroom?

Use this one question to start you on the path to making your workplace Fair Trade. Upgrading the office’s caffeine fix is a great and simple first step. For some delicious options, check out NWFTC member Equal Exchange. They also have chocolate if your breakroom needs a little treat.

If your business routinely buys holiday gifts for customers or employees, why don’t you show your corporate values by purchasing Fair Trade gifts this year? Check out other NWFTC members, like AWAZ Voice for Empowerment, who sell great gift items.

Need something else? Green America’s national green pages, directories and gift guides are great.

If you would like more information about any of the ideas in this or another “Fair Trade Your Life” post, or help getting started, please email

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Fair Trade Your Everyday Life

As part of our effort to be Portland’s Fair Trade resource, we are starting a blog series to share the tools to help you bring Fair Trade into your everyday life. Each post covers a new topic so you can learn how to Fair Trade your workplace, your congregation, your school and finally your events and holidays. We will also post about some upcoming campaigns and events for other ways to get involved with the Fair Trade movement.

Northwest Fair Trade Coalition is also working on publishing a directory of all the businesses in Portland selling Fair Trade goods. We want to be a resource for making your lifestyle Fair Trade friendly by giving Portlanders as much information as we can. Read more about that effort here.

Everyone has a role in today’s corporate world. For many of us that is simply a consumer role, but this is powerful. If you want to reflect your social and environmental values in your everyday life, purchases are one of the biggest ways to do that. This series aims to give you the step-by-step resources to make changes. Use them to begin taking the small steps toward a big difference.

Explore the different ways to bring economic justice into your everyday life. Think global, act local.

If you would like more information about any of the ideas in this or another “Fair Trade Your Life” post, or help getting started, please email

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