Fair Trade USA
I encouraged folks to wear one thing a day they knew was produced in a way that treated people and planet fairly. I reach a lot of college students and thought that a whole outfit in such clothes would be unaffordable. That's what I thought... until today.
Fair Trade Month is a time to spread the word about who and where our products come from. This means putting the spotlight on challenges like child labor in cocoa and slavery in seafood, and also celebrating the farms, factories, brands and retailers that are doing things differently.
There are still many challenges, but a lot has changed already -- just in the last 10 years child labor has become almost unheard of on many of the bigger export farms, and more groups are now complying with Mexican labor laws. But of course, more can be done.
The holidays are upon us. As we stock up on gifts for loved ones, many of us are also thinking about donating to a cause -- whether by giving time or money.
Families have been growing quinoa here for thousands of years, and for natives including Mamani, it's been a staple of their diet. We've just discovered this ancient grain here in the new world, but are making up for lost time by snarfing it.
Deciding what to eat is complicated enough without considering the issues of human rights and global versus local. The fact is, though, we are a community, one big, not always happy family, and we all have to eat. When you connect the dots, it's a straight line from how we choose to live to what we choose to eat.
The worst forms of child labor, even children that have been trafficked into slavery, are prevalent in the growing and harvesting of cacao in West Africa.