Fair Trade Month
What did Handmade Expressions do this year?
This year, Handmade Expressions had a number of events planned for Fair Trade Month:
- We set up tables in the University of Texas campus, Tacodeli in North Austin, South Congress street around Ten Thousand Villages, and in Dominican Joes (a fair trade coffee shop), and administered a survey to see how many people know about Fair Trade. At the same time, we educated people about Fair Trade and got a better grasp of perceptions of Fair Trade and social responsibility (findings which will help our retail partners). The educational materials we used were our own flyers and posters, as well as materials from TransFair USA.
- We handed out delicious Equal Exchange and Divine Fair Trade chocolate mini-bars. The Divine chocolate was purchased from SERRV (since it’s cooler, they’ve gotten rid of their shipping surcharge for southern states!).
- We handed out free coffee from Texas Coffee Traders!!
- Juan, our Marketing Director, gave a lecture about Fair Trade to a student group called Students In Free Enterprise at Collin College in Plano, TX.
Theme for October 2009: 31 Days, 31 Ways
Fair Trade Month happens every October, and is sponsored by Transfair USA. They have sponsored Fair Trade Month for a few years now, and many companies, organizations and individuals support them by hosting fair trade events and promoting fair trade.
In essence, it is all about spreading the word about what Fair Trade is, how it is useful to customers in the US, how you can help promote the movement, how you can create a Fair Trade town, etc. This year’s theme was “31 Days, 31 Ways”. They spread the word about Fair Trade and at the same time aimed to capture 31,000 Followers on Twitter and 31,000 Fans on Facebook. You can still support them by asking your friends, employees, family members, colleagues, etc. to join their social networking sites!
While Fair Trade Month was started by Transfair USA, the Fair Trade Federation and the Fair Trade Resource Network also celebrate the month and have many resources available for individuals and organizations.
Reverse Trick or Treating
One of the biggest events that takes place on Fair Trade Month is Reverse Trick or Treating, headed by Global Exchange. Global Exchange is a San Francisco-based advocacy group and an education and action resource center, who aim to ensure that globalization is fair for everyone and healthy for the planet. This event is greatly supported by Fair Trade Resource Network and Equal Exchange, among others.
Organizations and individuals can participate in this “sweet” event by ordering free chocolate and information cards from Global Exchange. If you follow this link, you can see their guidelines and order a free kit for next Halloween.
In addition, retailers can become hubs of information about Reverse Trick or Treating and rally their customers to participate in this event. You can also provide a link to www.reversetrickortreating.org in your website to promote the event every year.