John Carroll to host fair trade expo on Oct. 12
What do stores like Revive, Ten Thousand Villages, Heinen’s and Dave’s Markets have in common? The answer is simple—fair trade goods. Whether it is coffee, chocolate, fruits, or clothing, all of these stores sell a variety of fair trade products.
Fair trade is an alternative way of doing business, one that promotes equal and sustainable relationships between consumers and producers. This includes paying fair wages in the local communities that produce the goods, engaging in environmentally sustainable practices, and promoting healthy working conditions. These trading partnerships are based on relationships of mutual respect. Some common fair trade products include crafts, clothing, jewelry, coffee and chocolate.
Along with these stores, John Carroll University, in University Heights, has joined the fair trade movement. Not only does John Carroll provide fair trade products, such as coffee and chocolate, throughout its campus, but it is also hosting this year’s Ohio Fair Trade Expo, the largest regional fair trade event in the United States. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, in the Dolan Center for Science and Technology.
The fair trade movement in Northeast Ohio has been advanced by local and national retailers offering fair trade-certified products, and by the initiatives of local high schools and colleges promoting the fair trade market through education and advocacy.
“John Carroll’s fair trade initiative is rooted in the hearts of passionate students striving to make fair trade a culture on their campus,” commented McKenzae Bartels, a member of John Carroll’s Fair Trade Committee.
The Oct. 12 event “will be the fourth Fair Trade Expo held in Cleveland and includes both international and national speakers, workshops on a variety of issues, a fair trade marketplace with over 25 vendors, a fashion show, a program for Girl Scouts with hands-on activities, and more,” said Ditte Wolin, coordinator of the expo planning committee and a Cleveland Heights resident.
For more information about the expo, or fair trade in general, go to www.ohiofairtrade.com.
Noha Bechara is an IRTF intern at John Carroll University.