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RRC staff and students learn about Fairtrade

February 26, 2014

new blog photoIn our first Sustainability Speaker Series of 2014, we were joined by 2 fantastic speakers telling us about the many merits of Fairtrade.

“I think that we need to change how we “do business” rather than keep people impoverished and hand them aid – I’m excited about fair trade as it is a positive, practical response to sustainability issues – it’s fun, it’s growing and being accepted,” Zack Gross.

Zack Gross works with the Manitoba Council for International Co-operation and its Fair Trade Manitoba program. He spoke about the strong interconnections Fairtrade has to the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainability. We learned about the inequities of our current trade practices and the life changing benefits that are given to our global producers when we purchase Fair Trade products. I was surprised to learn that there is a premium given to growers who produce Fair Trade and organic products, and it is this premium that gives producers stability so they can maintain a good standard of living.  By purchasing Fair Trade, we support the local economies of poorer nations and allow people to receive the maximum benefit from their work and the products they produce.

Gwen Repeta from Ten Thousand Villages spoke briefly to the work their organization does here is Winnipeg. Did you know Ten Thousand Villages is the largest Fairtrade organization in North America and has been around since 1946?  She also reminded us that we “vote” with every purchase we make. When we “vote” to purchase Fair Trade we are saying we believe in supporting a fair and just trade system, and we encourage the fair and ethical treatment of people and a fair wage for their work.

I invite you to watch the Fairtrade presentation and learn more about how your purchases can make a difference.


SAVE THE DATE – Our next Speaker Series will be held on March 18th, when we will discuss why water matters, and what you can do to save water at home and at work.