JiggyTV recently posted a video on the KidSport Fair Trade Soccer Match that happened in August. The video features Julia Rhodes as she interviews members from Fair Trade Vancouver, KidSport BC and several of the players that played in the soccer match. Check it out to see the great times had by everyone who showed up to support the event.
Jeff Geipel, previously the executive director for Fair Trade Vancouver, recently visited the women who make the handicrafts of Shanti Uganda.
The following is a story written by Jeff about his experience visiting the Women's Income Generating Group, which is made up of 21 HIV positive women. These are the women who make the beads and bags that Shanti Uganda sells all over North America.
Over this past summer, I spent six weeks doing research work for Shanti Uganda, in the small town of Kasana, in central Uganda.You probably know Shanti Uganda for its Fair Trade beads and bags on sale in Vancouver, but you might be surprised to learn that all of their profits go back into the organization to fund a birth house in Uganda.The centre offers prenatal services for mothers-to-be, delivers babies in a safe environment, and provides follow-up services after births.Uganda routinely ranks among the most unsafe countries in the world for childbirth, and so Shanti Uganda provides a desperately needed service.
My focus during the research was the Women’s Income Generating Group, or WIGG.Twenty-one HIV positive women make up the group that make all the beads and bags that Shanti Uganda sells in North America.The five women of the textiles group make bags at the centre using donated sewing machines, while the beading group members spend most of their time crafting paper beads in their own homes.
tcktcktck, an advocate for the global climate movement, recently featured an interview with Tuulia Syvänen, Chief Operating Officer at Fairtrade International. Fairtrade International works to set international Fairtrade standards and provides support to Fairtrade producers.
-From Heather Libby of tcktcktck
TCK: Why did Fairtrade International decide to join the GCCA?
TUULIA SYVANEN: Fairtrade is a movement that represents over a million disadvantaged producers across the developing world, many of which are struggling with the effects of climate change. As we heard increasingly about our producers’ plight, we decided that we must take action to help them tackle this issue, and to make sure their voices and demands for technical and financial support are heard. The Global Campaign for Climate Action is a perfect platform for Fairtrade to share real-life stories of the challenges farmers face and to raise awareness on the seriousness of climate change. It will also allow us to join forces with other civil society organizations to demand additional technical and financial support for producers who so badly need it.
The Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Association is hosting the 2nd Annual Autumn Shift Festival from 12-6 pm on Saturday, September 17th, 2011. This popular community event celebrates the shift in season from summer to autumn and the shifting in attitude in our community towards sustainability, responsible living and an increasing interest in all aspects of urban gardening.
Fair Trade Vancouver will be out in full force with a mandate to create awareness around the importance and availability of Fair Trade products via handouts, product displays and, of course, our vibrant mascots. Our booth will be located at space #26 on 10th Ave (for reference, our neighbors are Sustainability Sweet and GVC Credit Union).
Leaving San Diego I planned a short stop at Café Virtuoso, a local Fair Trade coffee roaster. I was a little late getting on the road but my delayed departure led to a surprising bonus. Every Friday morning they host a small tasting session that anyone can join in on, where they check on the quality of a couple of batches of coffee. Result! I love coffee and this was a great way to end the US part of my trip.
Spoon in one hand, spitting cup in the other, I went to work to decipher the complexities of four different coffees. And of course the slurping. I managed to do this a little too well on my first slurp and nearly got into a fit of coughing. Apparently it meant my airwaves had got a full dose and that’s a good thing. During the session I talked to Stephan, one of the company partners and he told me how they check the aroma of the coffee beforehand (among other things) while the tasting itself looks at flavour, acidity, body and aftertaste. I left it to the pros to figure out the exact differences between the coffees but was able to pick out differences between the coffees they had. Something to look into in future I think.
ONEbean is a local coffee company that works closely with several non-profit organizations and has participated in a number of community events (you might have seen them recently at the KidSport Fair Trade Soccer Match). Although they've only been around for about three years, you may have heard about the work they've been doing with a number of schools and community organizations and has won the City of Surrey business excellence award two years in a row.
Check out this article about them posted in the Langley Times:
Chocolate is a popular treat that is enjoyed across the globe. Unfortunately, the industry is marred by business practices that force unseemly labour conditions and are not only hazardous to farmers, but also promote the use of child labour and sometimes trafficking. By supporting these methods of exploitation, consumers unknowingly perpetuate the underdevelopment of communities and harm to the environment.
What many people don't realize is that there is a long chain of production that involves harvesting coca, refining the coca to cocoa beans, and shipping the cocoa beans to manufacturing plants for cleaning, coaching and grinding. The beans are then exported to other countries to be prepared in a number of different chocolate products. All of these processes go towards establishing a cost for the chocolate that we consume. Without proper representation within this chain of production however, many of the cocoa producers don't receive a proportional share and will have difficulty providing for their families and sustaining a healthy life.
While many of us enjoy numerous chocolate products throughout North America and Europe, most of the coca that goes into these products is grown in developing countries within tropical regions of the globe. For many of these countries, cocoa makes up the largest portion of the national economy. 67 per cent of the world's cocoa comes from West Africa where the Ivory Coast alone holds 43 per cent of the world market. Within these economies, cocoa accounts for 33 per cent of Ghana's total export earnings and 40 per cent of the Ivory Coast.
The Port Moody Boathouse came through on Sunday with their promise for a dish that made use of both Fair Trade and local organic ingredients. There was plenty for everybody to try, but in case you missed it, here's the recipe.
I stepped onto the field a couple of hours before the event started. The place was easy to find as already there were dozens of volunteers from KidSport and Fair Trade Vancouver working to set up the displays and Whitecaps banners for the day.
Soon the players from the four teams that would take part in the event emerged from their change rooms in uniforms and began warming up on the field. Some of them were a bit shy and didn't talk much with volunteers, but there were definitely several players that were eager to jump in front of my camera. I learned later on that as part of the KidSport program, the players are supposed to approach all of the adults that they meet, shake their hand, and ask how they're doing (and mean it). I could tell the leaders in the group did a great job building a sense of community amongst these kids as they were eager to chat and pose for the camera.
Bananas are the 4th most important staple food in the world and the 5th most traded agricultural commodity (after cereals, sugar, coffee and cocoa). Almost 100 million metric tonnes of bananas are consumed every year , of which 15 million are exported. The industry generates billions of dollars, yet just five corporations—Dole, Del Monte, Chiquita, Fyffes and Noboa—control 85 per cent of the world banana market.
Many countries, such as Brazil and India, produce large amounts of bananas that are mostly consumed locally. There are other regions however, such as Central America and the Caribbean — often referred to as "banana republics," that depend heavily on banana exports.
While trade can be a good thing for many countries, these relationships have been bred from exploitive colonial relationships. According to Peter Chapman, author of Jungle Capitalists (Canongate Books, 2007), the multinational corporation United Fruit Company (now declined and surviving in part as Chiquita) was often accused of bribing Latin American government officials in exchange for preferential treatment. It was also accused of exploiting workers, creating an abusive monopoly, and encouraging or supporting US coups against smaller nations in order to instate dictatorships. The company is considered to have played a major role for decades in the development of these exploitive relationships.