We were fortunate enough during FTCW to have some avocado farmers come and visit the campus to talk about their experience back home. Let me tell you, there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. Aside from the tremendous environmental considerations (which honestly, even I didn't know very much about), the farmers spoke about how they have created their coop to compete against large agro-conglomerates in a way that supports their community.
They showed us examples of how they are working to create fair working conditions for their people and how they are giving back within their community. They spoke about medicines they were able to buy for older workers, and they spoke about not using inorganic pesticides for the health of their workers and for the health of the land.
One really nice story they spoke about involved how women in their community were feeling marginalized because the heavy work done by the males tended to exclude them from participating. So, with true grit, many women within the group created an apiary to harvest honey and to ensure the pollination of their crops. They are now an integral part of the cooperatives operations.
And what's to come...
Well there were a couple of other suppliers who sent us some items that we have special plans for.
Fair World Sports sent us some some sports balls which we displayed during FTCW but we have also planned a special photo shoot with the Gee-gees to highlight the importnace of "Fiar Play". You know, the idea that kids should be playing with soccer balls, not making them in slave condition in some factory.
We also received a bunch of coffee pods from One Coffee. We are hoping to use these pods to entice single coffee users on campus to switch to Fair Trade. They have a pretty delicious product so I think it will be an easy proposition.
So if you are interested in knowing more about Fair Trade, you are in luck because Fairtrade Canada is headquartered in Ottawa. There are also a bunch of great groups in the City (like Fair Trade Ottawa Equitable) and on campus (like Engineers Without Borders) who can help out.