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World Fair Trade Day

 

Every second Saturday of May, supporters of global fair trade celebrate World Fair Trade Day.  This year, the observance will take place on May 11, and will encompass a series of events and activities across the globe and in the United States.

 

World Fair Trade Day is a celebration first launched by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), and has grown to be the largest event of this kind in the U.S.  Seminars, fairs, workshops, giveaways, readings, marches, public gatherings, and many other events held in early May will help the public understand what fair trade is and why it is important.

 

Fair trade offers an alternative to the traditional trade system, which failed to deliver prosperity to many developing countries despite extensive exchange of goods and services with the affluent part of the globe.  By working with local producers, distributors, retailers, non profits, government agencies, and local communities, proponents of fair trade strive to find ways to increase the standard of living and the environmental conditions in those parts of the world where globalization has failed to deliver on its promises.  Today, almost half of the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 per day

 

WFTO, the global steward of fair trade and World Fair Trade Day, groups over 100 member organizations in 71 countries, each of which agree to ahdere to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade.  These include creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers, payment of a fair price, ensuring good working conditions, and prohibiting (with verification) child labor or forced labor.  In 2004, the WFTO launched its very own fair trade certification awarded to organizations that meet fair compensation, environmental, and labor standards in their operations. 

 

To find out more about WFTO’s activities and to check for the upcoming World Fair Trade Day events, visit WFTO’s calendar

 

Many other organizations are also celebrating World Fair Trade Day.  The Peace and Justice Center in Burlington, VT, and the Fair Trade Burlington Network are hosting an event on May 11 that will include workshops, a silent auction, a fair trade crafts market.  The Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN) features even more events in their calendar.  FTRN also offers an online toolkit that can be used to organize a fair trade event. 

 

You can find local Fair Trade Day celebrations at your local fair trade store.