NWFTC gives out FREE Reverse Trick-or-Treating Kits for Portland families this Halloween.

On Halloween night, children will hand candy back to the adults who answer their door at over 100,000 households this Halloween. It’s not that they dislike candy; rather, the kids will be giving out Fair Trade chocolate attached to informational cards to raise awareness of the child labor, forced labor, trafficking, poverty and environmental degradation that is widespread on cocoa farms. Since the event was launched five years ago, Reverse Trick-or-Treaters have delivered this important message, and a solution, to over half a million North American households. Reverse Trick-or-Treating is sponsored by Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Cocoa Campaign and Equal Exchange, a worker owned cooperative offering fairly traded coffee, chocolate, tea and snacks from small farmer cooperatives around the world.

Thanks to donations from coalition members, NW Food Front Cooperative and Equal Exchange, we’re able to give out FREE FREE Reverse Trick-or-Treating kits in October to help Portland families participate in this great awareness building event. Organize your group and take action! We’re making it that easy for you!

Through providing children with an opportunity to have their voice heard, hundreds of thousands of households in the US are getting the message that child labor and forced labor will not be tolerated by our kids. Join us and Reverse Trick-or-Treaters around the country in reaching over 200,000 households this year!

Pick up your FREE kit at any of the NWFTC October Fair Trade events or at NW Food Front Cooperative throughout October located in NW on 23rd & Thurman.


Want to learn more and get involved?

Send an email to nwfairtrade@gmail.com to get the latest updates. Follow us on Facebook!


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NWFTC announces Third Thursday Fair Trade Educational Film Series starting September 15th

Portland, OR (Sept 15th) – Starting Thursday, Sept. 15th, the Northwest Fair Trade Coalition will launch a monthly educational film series for the community about Fair Trade and economic justice issues that answer key questions about where the products we consume originate and at what human cost they are produced. The ‘documentary style’ film series will give consumers an in depth look at the negative socio-economic impact of conventional commerce on farmers and workers as a result of globalization and introduce an alternative business model based on the principles of economic and social justice known as Fair Trade.

Fair Trade is a trading relationship, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade ensuring 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. Increasingly, consumers in developed nations are applying their buying power to challenge the current system, demand supply-chain accountability and support businesses that enforce labor rights and environmental standards in international trade. The NWFTC film series will give consumers the tools to shop responsibly and bring Fair Trade and economic justice into their everyday lifestyle.

The film series will serve as a launch for NWFTC’s October Fair Trade month program to encourage consumers to ‘Take a Fair Trade Break’. The month’s activities will feature ‘Reverse Trick-or-Treating’ and ‘Fair Trade Your Community’ campaigns.

WHERE:           Equal Exchange, 1033 SE Main, Portland, Oregon  

WHEN:             Third Thursdays, beginning September 15, 2011

TIME:               6:00 – 7:30 p.m.


 Thursday, Sept. 15th, “The Price of Sugar”

In the Dominican Republic, a tropical island-nation, tourists flock to pristine beaches unaware that a few miles away thousands of dispossessed Haitians have toiled under armed-guard on plantations harvesting sugarcane, much of which ends up in U.S. kitchens. They work grueling hours and frequently lack decent housing, clean water, electricity, education or healthcare. Narrated by Paul Newman, “The Price of Sugar” follows Father Christopher Hartley, a charismatic Spanish priest, as he organizes some of this hemisphere’s poorest people to fight for their basic human rights. This film raises key questions about where the products we consume originate and at what human cost they are produced.


Thursday, October 20th, Film Screening of “A Thousand Fibers” and Panel Discussion about the Fair Trade Craft Movement

October is Fair Trade Month.

Join us for an educational film about fair trade and an opportunity to learn more about local organizations involved in the movement. Gear up and learn how you can become a Fair Trade Ambassador for Portland.

About the Film:

Buying Fair Trade is a conscious choice. When consumers choose it, they often understand the basics of Fair Trade and are cognizant of the various parts of the supply chain, including the essential—yet often overlooked—role of the person who produces the product. The documentary produced by Partners for Just Trade explores the principles of Fair Trade based on real life experiences, with a special focus on the lives of handcraft artisans in Peru.

The film will be followed by an in depth discussion about fair trade artisan groups as a viable alternative to sweatshop production featuring local representatives from AWAZ Voice for Empowerment and Mayan Hands will share more about the impact of fair trade on the lives of the artisan groups they work with in India and Guatemala and have their products on display for sale. Get an early start on holiday shopping!

After spending two years working with grassroots organizations in Northern India, Native Oregonian, Sarah Mitts, founded AWAZ Voice for Empowerment to serve as a market outlet for the artisan groups she worked with and a channel for ethical trade and consumption. She will profile some of the groups she works with and talk about the ways producers and communities benefit through fair trade. Margaret Zeps, a weaver from the Portland Weaving Guild, is a volunteer with Mayan Hands and will share more about the weaving cooperatives in Guatemala she works with.

Other members of the NWFTC will be present to share more about their work including representatives from Equal Exchange, Oregonians Against Trafficking Humans and Jubilee Oregon.


<a title="Trailer for MOVIE" href="” target=”_blank”><iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/TH7keFMgkcU&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

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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 tohttp://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/cocoa/reversetrickortreating/for 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 nwfairtrade@gmail.com.

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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 fairtrade.us 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 nwfairtrade@gmail.com.

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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 http://www.fairtradeuniforms.org.
  • Fair Trade Sports Balls – When you are playing during recess, you can Fair Trade your sports equipment by checking out www.fairtradesports.com. Also, for the best running and playing Fair Trade shoes, go to http://www.autonomieprojects.com.
  • 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 www.globalexchange.org/cocoa, http://www.equalexchange.coop/fair-trade-fundraiser-program-educational-tools and http://www.fairtraderesource.org/learn-up/teaching-tools/.  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 nwfairtrade@gmail.com 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 nwfairtrade@gmail.com.

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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 nwfairtrade@gmail.com.

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 nwfairtrade@gmail.com.

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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 nwfairtrade@gmail.com.

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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 nwfairtrade@gmail.com.

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Join us in creating a Portland Fair Trade Directory!

Contact nwfairtrade@gmail.com to join our Fair Trade Directory Committee!

We launched our first big awareness campaign in May for World Fair Trade Day with a mini-directory to help consumers know where they can find fairly traded products in Portland. We had about 10 locations on the directory that included places like Food Front Cooperative, Mirador Community Store and St. Andrews Church in North Portland who serves Fair Trade coffee/tea throughout their congregation. We were happy to start documenting a few places we were aware of, but we know there are more!

We’re gearing up for the rest of the year’s activities and we’re excited to begin a campaign to expand and create a larger directory that will encourage more local stores, educational institutions, workplaces and congregations to support Fair Trade. AND WE NEED YOUR HELP!

While buying organic and buying local are very much on the radar for many Portland natives, we need to create more awareness about the economic and social justice implications of their purchases. With every purchase, consumers are unknowingly perpetuating child labor, human trafficking and global poverty when they support large companies and brands who source products through an unethical supply chain. WE CAN encourage more companies to source through Fair Trade channels by creating more demand for fairly trade products and companies who support fair wages and healthy working conditions for producers.

Just like organic, when more consumers started buying and asking for organic, more large companies like Wal-Mart, Dole, Kroger started sourcing and offering organic products!


 Goals of the Directory:

–          To help consumers find local businesses and organizations that serve/sell fairly traded products and are committed to ethical working practices

–          To help more local businesses and organizations learn about Fair Trade and encourage them to start serving/selling fairly traded products

–          To introduce the Northwest Fair Trade Coalition to the greater Portland community and encourage membership and partnership with our network

–          To serve as a collective resource for local organizations working on global economic justice issues by creating a section in the directory for additional resources


–          Send out an introductory survey and letter to assess whether or not organizations serve/sell fairly traded products and measure their commitment to Fair Trade

  • Targetting: business, faith organizations, educational institutions and community organizations

–          Assess their level of commitment and record their information in an organized list

The idea for the directory came about through the Fair Trade Towns movement that is sweeping across our country. We’re using their strategies for implementing the directory, but customizing it according to our criteria. We want to support 100% committed organizations, not ‘fair washers’!

Our coalition has few members and we need more people from the community to join our efforts and help lead this!

We’re forming a Fair Trade Directory Committee and are putting an appeal out there for volunteers!

Contact Sarah at nwfairtrade@gmail.com to get involved!


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Crafting Change in Portland May 17th

Please join the North West Fair Trade Coalition in welcoming Fair Trade artisans Sonia Anahue Uscamayta from the Munay Rumi jewelry cooperative in Lima, Peru and Yody Gladys Moran Trillo from the El Mercurio knitting cooperative in Huancavelica, Peru on Tuesday May 17.

This event will introduce you to Sonia and Yody who will share how Fair Trade has affected their lives, and the lives of so many women around the world.  Both women were forced to relocate their families in search of a better life to earn more money or escape violence – and despite their move, still found life difficult.  Yet since they’ve become a part of the Fair Trade movement, their horizons have expanded and opportunities have opened.

When: May 17, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Where: First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97204

RSVP on Facebook

 Light refreshments will be served at the event, and you will also have to opportunity to purchase Fair Trade artisan products.

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