Throughout the month of October, numerous consumers, retailers and producers will unite in order to celebrate and promote the benefits of fair trade. Join the celebration by taking some or all of the following “Top 5” simple actions to highlight your support for the fair trade movement. We hope that this list will inspire you to make changes that, while apparently simple, will have a significant impact on the well-being of the people who produce the goods we consume.
Commit to purchasing one Fair Trade product on a regular basis. Choose a product that you consume regularly, like coffee, tea, sugar, bananas or chocolate. Buying Fair Trade products represents a tangible action to counter poverty. And what could be simpler than replacing a product you are already buying with its Fair Trade equivalent? You will notice that the Fair Trade product is of at least comparable if not superior quality to what you were purchasing before.
Support Fair Trade certification bodies with social media. The simple action of “liking” the Facebook pages or following organizations such as Fairtrade Canada and Fairtrade International contributes to supporting Fair Trade. You are not only increasing the credibility of these organisations by growing their support base, but you are also increasing their visibility since your Facebook friends and Twitter followers will witness your support of Fair Trade and might look into learning more about it. As an added bonus, you will receive lots of useful information posted by these organisations. While you’re at it, why not support FTOÉ by checking out our Facebook page and Twitter account?
Ask for Fair Trade products at your regular shopping spots. The next time you’re running errands, why not ask the retailers if they have a certain Fair Trade product? As an example, Fair Trade bananas are still somewhat difficult to find. Since most of us lead busy lives, we don’t always have the time to buy our groceries in multiple stores. But if more people asked their grocers whether they carried Fair Trade bananas, perhaps they would choose to order some. That would make the task of purchasing Fair Trade bananas much easier. In business, supply and demand is the bottom line – so let’s increase the demand!
Plan a Fair Trade Halloween. It is rather convenient that Halloween falls within Fair Trade month. Fair trade chocolate has become widely available, even in snack sizes, perfect for giving out to the “trick-or-treaters” in your neighborhood. Who knows – their parents might notice that these bars are different from the others in their kid’s loot and try to find out more about where they’re from. The local, Ottawa-based company Camino offers 3 varieties of snack-size chocolate bars. But be careful – make sure to keep some for the kids! If you happen to feel a little more adventurous this Halloween, you might consider dressing up as a Fair Trade banana, as FTOÉ volunteers do all year round!
Give the gift of Fair Trade. Although the beautiful autumn weather we’ve been experiencing has kept us in denial, Christmas will be upon us before we know it. Why not get a head-start on your Christmas shopping by starting now to think about fairly-traded gifts for your loved ones? A great place to shop is Ten Thousand Villages, which offers tons of gift ideas for all tastes, at more than reasonable prices. Not only will you be giving high quality gifts, but you will also be sharing the importance of supporting Fair Trade with the recipients. In addition to products such as Fair Trade coffees, teas and chocolates, Ten Thousand Villages offers jewelry and accessories, home decor and Fair Trade gifts hand-crafted by artisans around the globe. By selling their products and telling their stories, Ten Thousand Villages supports artisans in developing countries and helps them receive fair and stable income. But don’t take our word for it – join us at the Westboro’s Ten Thousand Villages (371 Richmond Road) on the evening of November 14th, and you will see for yourself that you can get all your Christmas shopping done in one place!
With these 5 simple actions, everyone can support Fair Trade. Happy Fair Trade Halloween!
By Jasmine Lefebvre
November 14, 2013, evening at Ten Thousand Villages (Westboro location: 371 Richmond Rd).
You know it’s coming! It’s almost that time of year: the holidays! How about joining us for an early festive evening to do some Fair Trade shopping at one of Ottawa’s Ten Thousand Villages boutiques?
Our volunteers will be there to hand out some treats and talk Fair Trade. Why not ask them to help you pick out the best holiday presents for loved ones? We hear some have really good taste… Join us, do a little shopping and help FTOÉ fundraise some funds to help carry forward our Fair Trade awareness in Canada’s capital! More details to come… stay tuned!
October 26, 2013 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at Ten Thousand Villages (Westboro location: 371 Richmond Rd). A party for the whole family.
Have you ever wished for a fun and fair Halloween Day? Wickedly Westboro is your must-attend Halloween event. This year again we will be at Ten Thousand Villages. So, come join us and enjoy a spooky moment in a fair spirit.
Among the activities, our Fair Trade Zombie bananas will be wandering around and we will also have a costume contest. You may be the lucky winner of an amazing courtesy prize of Ten Thousand Villages! Why not take this opportunity to learn more about the Fairtrade movement while chatting with our FTOÉ volunteers? Don’t miss out on this event! We can’t wait to meet you at our stand.
October 29, 2013 from 10am-3pm in the University Centre (University of Ottawa).
Are you interested in learning more about the Fair Trade movement? Fair Trade Ottawa Équitable is a not-for-profit, volunteer organization that seeks to promote the concept of Fair Trade through dozens of community outreach events in and around the city, connecting local citizens to an important global cause. Visit our table in Jock Turcot University Centre at the University of Ottawa on October 29th from 10:00am to 3:00pm to learn more about the Fair Trade market, where to find Fair Trade products, what it means to be a Fair Trade Town, and the volunteer opportunities within the organization. The University of Ottawa Volunteer Fair is the perfect opportunity for you to ask questions and learn more about this vibrant organization! For more information, please see this Facebook event.
Held bi-weekly at the Daily Grind (601 Somerset Street West).
Not quite sure what Fair Trade is or what FTOÉ is doing about it? You’re in the right place! Our info-sessions are designed to create a space for those who are new to Fair Trade to learn more, as well as get a better understanding of exactly who FTOÉ is. Come by and meet some members of the FTOÉ team, and be sure to take note of any of those burning questions you have, so that we can be sure to answer them!
You can check out the upcoming orientation dates and register through the form here to reserve your spot!
We meet upstairs at the Daily Grind.
A clean slate for fall. Harvesting Fair Trade Karma.
We mean business
FTOÉ is ready to make waves in the nation’s capital with its newly-minted Steering Committee. On August 25, Fair Trade Ottawa Équitable held its first-ever Annual General Meeting, complete with elections for Chair and Directors. Congratulations and welcome to:
Chair: Lia Walsh
Treasurer: Julia Rosewarne
Director of Community Outreach: Dan Ironmonger
Director of School Outreach: Meghan McIntyre
Director of Event Planning: Ella Heyder
Director of Communications: Mélissa Dubé
Director of Business Outreach: Valerie Choo-Foo
Director of Municipal Outreach: Ana Tavares
Director of Volunteer Coordination: Kelly Banks
With this leadership team in place, FTOÉ has met yet another requirement set by Fairtrade Canada for achieving Fair Trade Town status. Steering Committees must be active in towns once they have gained this status, to keep up the momentum and grow awareness among businesses and the community at large. The best is yet to come!
Relay for Freedom
Yet another reason that Fair Trade is so awesome: producers treat their workers with dignity and respect. And we at FTOÉ wanted to pass along the good karma by joining forces with runners and walkers at the annual Freedom Relay held by Persons Against the Crime of Trafficking in Humans (PACT) on September 14. FTOÉ volunteers were there to let participants know that buying Fair Trade supports a system that promotes the development and well-being of hired labourers in occupations where exploitation is the norm.
To Market, To Market!
With autumn in the air, it’s time to savour the harvest. On September 15, FTOÉ team members were at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market at Brewer Park, one of the largest in the city, to encourage visitors to buy local produce. Besides being fresher, buying local gets you closer to the people who produce what you eat. There’s room for both Fair Trade and local in the ethical buyer’s basket.
Our other upcoming events:
Halloween campaign (October) – watch for our volunteers encouraging you to think Fair Trade when you’re buying chocolate treats for the little tricksters!
Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale (November 30) – visit our table while you’re stocking up on festive buys and you may get a surprise. Did someone say “caroling bananas”?
Visit the events page for up-to-date event information.
Jump on board.
A last look at summer
While supplies last, pick up the summer edition of the Canadian Fair Trade Network’s FREE magazine at a Bridgehead Coffee location near you. You will learn all about Fair Trade happenings in Canada and worldwide! You can also read it online, or let us know If you would like additional copies.
Help us out
As we reported last month, we’ve nearly achieved our goal for identifying businesses that offer Fair Trade products. But there’s always a chance we missed your favourite place. So please let us know of any place, particularly cafés or restaurants, that offer at least two different varieties of Fair Trade merchandise. It will make our case for Fair Trade Town status that much stronger!
Sign your name
Show your support for Ottawa becoming a Fair Trade Town by signing our petition. While you are at it, support the use of conflict-free minerals by signing up here.
Join our Fabulous Team!
FTOÉ is looking for Fair Trade enthusiasts to help us out with outreach, communications (including social media) and other activities such as fundraising and blogging. Join the FTOÉ family by donating a few hours a week or month. For more info, go here and join us at an Orientation Session.
We’ve got some great things coming up this month…. stay tuned as it’ll be wickedly awesome for Fair Trade month!