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Reflections on Fair Trade Campus Week!

September 28, 2015

The Sustainably Office, Fair Trade Manitoba and Ten Thousand Villages welcomed over 300 staff and students at our booth during Fair Trade Campus Week at the Notre Dame Campus and Roblin Centre.

We heard some amazing stories, many from our international students who spoke of their first-hand accounts of labour conditions in their countries.   One student shared her knowledge of the sport ball industry in her home country of Pakistan.  She explained that the majority of sport balls came from one city “just one city” in Pakistan.  Did you know that there are over 250 manufacturers of sports balls in Sailkot and only 6 are fair trade? Fair trade magazine; Summer/Fall 2014 |Issue 4; p14

We had over 100 entries in our secret word and fair trade trivia contests;  I was impressed that everyone was correct in their trivia answers;  and that I even learned a few new places to buy fair trade in Winnipeg.

Here’s what RRC staff had to tell us about fair trade:

  • There are 21 Fair Trade cities and towns in Canada.
  • The City of Brandon and the Town of Gimli are 2 Fair Trade towns in Manitoba.
  • You can find Fair trade products at: Organic Planet Worker Co-op, Canadian Museum for Human Rights Boutique, Ten Thousand Villages, RRC Campus Stores, Constance Popp Chocolates, Organic Planet Worker Co-op, Safeway in Neepawa, The Fresh Carrot, Caulfield’s Organic Market, Ann’s Flowers and Gifts, Ben and Jerry’s, Bulk Barn, Vita Health, Superstore and Costco.

The benefits of Fair Trade are:

  • Empowerment of farmers and workers – This is a goal of fair trade.
  • Small farmer groups must have a democratic structure and transparent administration in order to be certified. Groups are supported by Fair trade International to develop their capacity in this area.
  • Reduces poverty in developing communities around the world; Improves the livelihood of the millions of farmers and working in the developing world who benefit from fair trade.
  • Promotes the empowerment of farmers and workers, allowing them to have representatives on a committee that decides on the use of the Fair Trade Premium (the amount paid).
  • Fair pay and working conditions.
  • Farmers & workers get a fair price for their products and income stability.
  • Supporting farmers by providing stable prices
  • Fair trade helps protect forests Ensuring farmers and producers are paid a fairly – the price accounts for a number of factors including cost of production and adequate living standards.
  • I think the most important benefit of Fair Trade is that it establishes safer and healthier working conditions; also people are paid more fairly- so both sides benefit from the product.
  • Improves lives, No child labour, safer working conditions, more money to the people actually doing the work – farmers, craftspeople, etc.

Thank you again to our sponsors, Fair Trade Canada and the Fair Trade Network for arranging the donation of promotional items that included  free chocolate and tea graciously donated by Camino and Four O’clock tea.

Congratulations to all of the people who visited our fair trade booth, and participated in the fair trade trivia and secret word contests.

Prize winners are as follows:

Bird and Rock sculpture: Richard Berard

Fair trade chocolate and tea basket for the office:

  • Mary Anne Shukla – Steinbach Campus
  • Ellen Acton – Interlake Campus
  • Tanis McCallum – NDC
  • Tabitha Ann Nordby – Roblin Centre
  • Lori Lobchuk – Language Training Centre (Via Rail)
  • Brenda Lesiuk- NDC

Please contact Sue Hayduk at 204.632.2144 to claim your prize!