Fair Trade Program

The Peace and Justice Center is committed to work for economic justice and one of the ways to do it is through our fair trade program.
Fair Trade is described in many different ways by different organizations and it means different things for different people.  Fair trade is a social justice movement – an alternative way of trading based on the principles of economic and social justice.

We as a Center support the concept provided by the Burlington Fair Trade Network describing fair trade as “an international movement to make trade fair for small producers in developing countries, supporting sustainable development, changes in corporate behavior and changes in international trade policies” fairtradeburlington.wordpress.com

 

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Fair Trade is:

  • An alternative economic model to conventional trade, which offers farmers and workers in developing countries a better price for their products and improves terms of trade.
  • An opportunity to improve lives, and plan for the future.
  • A way for consumers to support better labor rights and environmental respect, as well as empower small producers through everyday shopping.

 

The Fair Trade movement provides an opportunity to include people that have been traditionally bypassed by the benefits of commerce in agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA.

Fair Trade works with marginalized populations especially in rural areas where nearly 75% of the world’s poorest live. Fair Trade benefits more than 7.5 million artisans and farmers in more than 60 countries. The movement provides a unique opportunity for small producers to get organized for better prices, working conditions and wages, empowers women, supports transparency and sustainable development.

The trade system in our world need s more transparency and we as consumers have an opportunity to take part in changing the system. Every time we buy a product we endorse everything that went in to the making of the item. We all need to be mindful of what we endorse.

 

Fair Trade Labels

 

Fair Trade has many definitions and also different labels for certification. Every time you make a purchase please check the package and see if you could see any of these  fair trade logos.  There is a current discussion around the fair trade labeling.

For more information on the different fair trade labels, check out this handy guide!

 

Our Store

 

At the Center we have a Fair Trade store that represents more than 60 artisan groups from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Each of these groups has one or several programs that benefit their local communities. Some of the programs include micro credit for starting small business, education, medical care, vocational training for youth, street violence prevention, rescuing and rehabilitation for women and children victims of human trafficking, housing, community gardens and more.

In addition to provide a market for the artisan goods, we are committed to share their stories, goals and accomplishments with every costumer that comes to the store.

In our store we also work with local business in our Vermont communities that have fair and transparent business practices.

More than just Burlington’s source for local and Fair Trade products, the Peace & Justice store is a window to learn about other cultures and an open door for discussion on social justice, peace, sustainability, and transparency. Our store is about raising awareness and promoting change!

Our fair trade store is very well connected and supported by our community. We staff the store with volunteers that come from all different backgrounds and offer invaluable assets to our Center. We have a core of 19 very committed and passionate volunteers that believe in the importance of raising awareness and educating our community regarding Fair Trade.  If you would like to volunteer in our store, please contact us at carmen@pjcvt.org

 

Come visit us and support our mission…

 

Our Education and Outreach program

In addition to providing a market for artisans and farmers, we have a commitment to educate our community regarding Fair Trade and its impact locally and in other countries.

Our educational and outreach program provides educational presentations and resources to school groups, college classes, business honors and any group that is interested in learning more about fair trade as a very concrete way of promoting change for social and economic justice.

We are engaged in local and national campaigns that exert pressure on US companies to end abuse and forced child and trafficked labor. We support initiatives that demand transparency and accountability for a more sustainable way of trading.

If you are interested in learning more about Fair Trade or would like to schedule a presentation for your class, book club or neighbors please contact us at carmen@pjcvt.org and help us grow the movement!

 

Connecting to Burlington’s Fair Trade Community – Fair Trade Burlington Network

 

The Peace & Justice Center works closely with Fair Trade Burlington Network organizing events, reaching out to the community, and spreading the word about the importance of Fair Trade.

Fair Trade Burlington Network is one of Vermont’s newest consumer movements.  As some of you may or may not know, Burlington became the 12th Fair Trade Town in the US in August 2009.  They are  Burlington’s Fair Trade Town committee, which is supported by over 15 local businesses, places of worship, and individuals from our community.  They are also part of an accruing national coalition of town organizations with community activists dedicated to the principles of fair trade.

Please visit their website here to learn more!

 

Here are some of our recent fair trade events:

Alta Gracia Event Poster copywftd_poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To read more about our Children’s Fair Trade Series from summer 2012, click here!