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8.10.09

I <3 Fair Trade

For those of you who don't know, October is Fair Trade Month, the month when Fair Trade Certified makes a big push to promoting Fair Trade goods around the world.

For my thoughts on the idea of Fair Trade vs. Free Trade, see this earlier post here.

There are a number of events going on all over the states to celebrate Fair Trade. For example, just yesterday, Boston Dunkin' Donuts had their 100% Fair Trade Coffee available at designated subway stops all along the T (their name for the subway). In investigating Dunkin' Donuts as a company, I discovered that ALL of their coffee is 100% Fair Trade Certified - it's part of the commitment that the company makes to society. It's in part a response to customers, and a commitment the company has decided to make to better the world.

That said, there are a number of companies that don't bother to use Fair Trade. At most Starbuck's, if you want your mocha made with Fair Trade coffee, you have to specially request it. And unfortunately, it's not always available.

This week, I challenge you to think about the products you are buying. If you're buying rice - where did it come from? What hands harvested it? What country produced it? If you're getting coffee, is it fair trade? Was it produced by a company that has a commitment to helping the world, not just making a profit?

Think about it. Where is your money going?

Also, here's an interesting video that has a great analogy from Monopoly. It's a sermon from a Unitarian church here in TX:

Pathways Church: sermon from 06/01/2008 - A Decent Cup of Coffee from Pathways Church on Vimeo.



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Speaking of money...since the announcement last week about my photobook/fundraising push, I have received $310 in donations! Hallelujah! I still need around $500 more to make my out of pocket expenses reasonable, so the donation button is still wide open.

I am also linking to my friend Chase's Blog. If you have already donated to me, and still want to help out, Chase - one of my fellow travelers - is having trouble raising money, and only has 2 and 1/2 months to get almost the entire amount together. If you can help him out even just a little, I know he would very much appreciate it.

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