Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to have breakfast with some sistah-bloggers and hear renowned dietitian Ashley Koff RD, speak about Fair Trade Day, which is coming up on May 14th. It was as enlightening as it was delicious!
Many fair trade items are "specialty" goods, like chocolate, coffee, spices and exotic fruits. Things that we're probably paying a teensy bit more for already. It just takes a little more awareness to check out the label to support sustainability and fair wages around the world. I couldn't help but remember the data that came out just last week about the fact that there is still a wage gap in the US between women and men. Women still make less than men and Latinas make the least of all (which was fairly disturbing news to me both as a Latina and as the mother of a Latina). I think that support of fair and sustainable wages worldwide cannot but raise awareness of the need for fair and sustainable wages at home as well.
Some pretty big US brands are catching on. Starbuck's is currently the largest purchaser of fair trade coffee beans in the world. And Ben and Jerry's have supported fair trade for years.
So what can we do?
First, we can educate ourselves about fair trade and "vote with our dollars."
There are currently 9,500 fair trade products available in the US today, you can view a complete list at Fair Trade USA.
We can also participate in the Fair Trade Twitter Party on Friday, 5/13, @ 9AM PST
The hashtag is #fairtradeday.
Ashley Koff recommended that we start by swapping fair trade products for items that we're already using everyday. Like coffee and milk. I've been buying fair trade coffee at my local supermarket for quite a while and not only love the way it tastes but the price is definitely competitive with the coffee I would otherwise buy.
Fair Trade USA sent me away with a bag full of goodies to GIVE AWAY! I hope you'll enjoy these products enough to choose them the next time you hit your supermarket :)
HOW TO ENTER: Simply leave a comment below with your thoughts, questions or knowledge about fair trade! Contest ends midnight, May 18th and winner will be chosen at random.
TELL THEM WHAT THEY'LL WIN, VANNA!
Wishing you love with extra fair-trade cheese,
*Disclaimer: The products in the giveaway were gifted to me by Fair Trade USA, but the opinions shared in this post are entirely my own. I was not compensated in away for attending, as a guest, the event mentioned or for writing about my experience there.