100,000 expected to participate in World Fair Trade Day events across North America



A record 100,000 people across the US and Canada are expected to participate in hundreds of events over the next two weeks to mark World Fair Trade Day, which is May 14, 2011. Cities, towns, churches, groups and individuals are planning events to highlight social, economic, and environmental benefits to buying Fair Trade. The events include Fair Trade festivals, Fair Trade coffee breaks, webinars and Fair Trade artisan tours among others.

For information about World Fair Trade Day events in your area or to find out more information about the benefits of buying Fair Trade, go to http://www.fairtraderesource.org/wftd/.

Many Americans are unaware how many day-to-day items are produced in abusive labor conditions which include sweatshops and child labor. These items include clothing, furniture, and foods such as coffee, chocolate, and sugar. The Fair Trade system helps producers and suppliers earn a living wage and take steps to protect the environment. It also serves to empower individuals and communities, support women\’s and children\’s rights, promote dignity and respect, and connect developing nations with developed nations and markets.

World Fair Trade Day national campaign coordinator, and Executive Director, Fair Trade Resource Network Jeff Goldman, said: \”the meaningful activities comprising this largest Fair Trade event in North America allow adults and kids to learn about empowering marginalized people while celebrating justice and sustainability with hundreds of thousands worldwide.\”

Examples of World Fair Trade Day events around the U.S. include:

  • Texas. Austin Fair Trade Film Festival, May 12-14 at various locations. Events include a short film competition, a Fair Trade wine and chocolate pairing event, and the Fair Trade film festival and global market.
  • Illinois. Chicago World Fair Trade Day celebration, May 6, 2011 at Daly Plaza. Companies will be selling Fair Trade gifts, coffee, chocolate, and more and there will be programs and world music played throughout the day. Additionally there will be a Fair Trade pavilion at the Chicago Green Festival on May 14-15 at McCormick Place in Lakeside, IL where non-profits and Fair Trade vendors will be on hand.
  • New York State. Several upstate events are planned, including a World Fair Trade Day celebration in Albany on May 13th at the Ten Thousand Villages store, and a Fair Trade/Coffee Break Celebration in Rochester on May 14th at One World Goods.
  • Oregon. A variety of events in Portland to include an informational Fair Trade 101 Panel Discussion at Kells Irish Pub on May 9th, and the St. Andrew/Catholic Relief Services World Fair Trade Day celebration on May 15th featuring music, food, crafts, and informational talks.
  • Florida. A Fair Trade wine tasting in Orlando on May 15, at the Lake Eola Farmers Market. This event will also feature food, live music, and local craft vendors.

Major sponsors of World Fair Trade Day include nonprofit and faith-based organizations, such as Green America, Catholic Relief Services, Fair Trade Towns and Fair Trade USA, as well as retail companies, such as Ben and Jerry\’s, Fair Trade Apparel, Green Mountain Coffee, Lucuma Designs, Wholesome Sweeteners, and Dr. Bronner\’s Magic Soaps. Regular sponsors include Fair for Life Social & Fairtrade Certified, Fair World Project, Global Exchange, Indigenous Designs, Maggie\’s Organics, Theo Chocolate and WorldofGood.com by eBay.