Love, fair love, is in the air

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, there’s one thing on our minds… CHOCOLATE! This year, surprise your friends and loved ones with ethical brands of chocolate, flowers, wine, and more!

Fair Trade chocolate is available in many stores across the Ottawa region. You can find Camino chocolate at Ten Thousand Villages, Bridgehead, Market Organics, Loblaws (Rideau Street), Arbour Environmental Shoppe, and many other retailers in Ottawa. You can also purchase Camino products online here. Check out Camino’s delicious array of Fine Chocolates, sure to please the taste buds!

If you choose to order flowers for your friends and loved ones, purchasing flowers grown in Canada is a great way to support local businesses and to take comfort in the fact that they were grown in safe working conditions. Tivoli Florist is a great example of an Ottawa-based business supporting such a cause.

Perhaps you’d like to share a glass of Fair Trade wine on Valentine’s Day with that special someone. Browse your local LCBO for the luscious red or the sweet white that suits your taste buds and your ethics! Just look for the Fair Trade label on the bottle! This Trivento Fair Trade Malbec is an excellent full-bodied wine for even the most experienced wine-taster.

Whatever you have planned for this Valentine’s Day with your friends and loved ones, please consider the ethical fair trade options available! For a complete listing of fair trade product retailers in Ottawa, check out the Fair Trade Finder on FairTrade Canada’s website.

For more ideas, consult Fairtrade Canada’s ethical shopping guide.

By Elise Cormier

What did you take away from this year’s CFTN Leadership in Fair Trade National conference?

Group Bananas CFTN TO 2014

Before becoming aware of Fair Trade Ottawa Équitable, I was under the presumption that I was in the very, very small minority of people who knew of Fair Trade. After attending last week’s 2014 CFTN Leadership in Fair Trade National conference in Toronto, my view has changed completely. I found myself in the midst of many wonderful, dedicated people from across Canada that all shared common goals and views pertaining to Fair Trade. The wealth of knowledge and experience that was shared and talked about was simply astounding. This conference made me aware of so many facets and struggles that are involved in supporting this movement and helping it grow. As the conference drew to a close I looked around the room, and was suddenly struck by a particular thought. I realized that while a skilled artisan in Nepal is carefully carving a figurine, and a coffee bean farmer in Mexico is lovingly tending to his crops, these people at the conference, and the others they are representing, are lovingly tending to this movement, shaping and carving it so that they can aid the artisan and farmer so that they may continue to do what they love and prosper. Looking back, this inspiring dedication and determination is what I took away from this years’ conference.

What other members of Fair Trade Ottawa Équitable took away from the conference!

  • Go to the person who’s good at stuff, and pick their brain instead of reinventing the wheel. We must utilize the resources and skills we already have and adapt them in order to fit many situations!
  • You are not alone! There are people all across the country that are going through similar  changes than you are, reach out! With the fair trade movement gathering strength in all corners of Canada, it can at times seem like you are alone in your struggles, but if you reach out to others in the fair trade world you may find some pleasant surprises and helpful tips!
  • There is now a Fair Trade community in Canada! Thanks to CFTN’s hard work, they are connecting different Fair Trade players across the country. Businesses, towns, campuses, etc. we’re all connected!

By Luisa Lazo