Date: February 14, 2012
Our topic for tonight’s program is the Fair Trade movement and sustainability. Fair Trade products are produced under a certification program that insists that workers in other countries get a living wage, that no child or sweatshop labor is involved, and that producers contribute back to their community.
In the first part of the program, we’ll talk with Zarah Patriana of Global Exchange in San Francisco. GX is a major supporter of Fair Trade and has a number of campaigns going on around the world to help spread the word about Fair Trade.
Then in the second part of the program, we’ll talk with Jim Henson, who was instrumental in getting Chico established as a Fair Trade town three years ago today. We’ll ask Jim about what is happening with Fair Trade in Chico and about what he sees as the connection between Fair Trade and sustainability.
Our Conversation with Zarah Patriana
This is Ecotopia on KZFR and tonight we are looking at the global and local Fair Trade Movement. On the phone with us is Zarah Patriana of Global Exchange in San Francisco. She has worked with the Global Exchange Fair Trade Store and writes for the GX Fair Trade blog. She’s also been a Fair Trade Fair Trade blogger for Change.org and is active in the Bay Area FairTrade projects. Welcome Zarah.
–A great many of our listeners are familiar with Fair Trade (since Chico is a Fair Trade Town). But just to get clear, please tell us what “Fair Trade” is all about (and why it is not to be confused with “free trade”).
–At Global Exchange, you have a number of campaigns going, a major one focusing on the cocoa trade. Why did you and GX (and other Fair Trade organizations) choose chocolate as a target? What’s the focus of that campaign? You’ve had some successes with Cadbury (which is currently touting fair trade milk as well as chocolate). Can you tell us about the significance of that campaign? And what are you working on with Hersey’s chocolate?
–Please describe one or two of the other campaigns that you’re working on. And tell us about the current issues being addressed in the GX Fair Trade Blog.
–How do you know that the fair trade labeling organizations are doing their jobs? How much does that add to the cost of goods? (When we were in Costa Rica, we talked with a coffee grower who said he was using fair trade practices, but he couldn’t afford certification.)
–But Fair Trade goods often travel a long way to get to market. Do you see any conflict between that and the Buy Local/Grow Local movement?
–Global Exchange sponsors “reality tours,” where people get to visit other countries and look at political and social conditions up close. And you have reality tours associated with Fair Trade. Please tell us about these, including upcoming tours as well as your own experience on a GX Fair Trade tour to Nicaragua.
–Finally, how can listeners become involved in the Fair Trade movement generally and the campaigns of Global Exchange in particular. And how can they learn more about the reality tours?
Our guest has been Zarah Patriana of Global Exchange in San Francisco, where she works on media, communications, and Fair Trade. Thanks for being with us on Ecotopia.
You can learn more about the GX Fair Trade program at www.globalexchange.org/programs/fairtrade
Our Discussion with Jim Henson
This is Ecotopia on KZFR, and tonight we have been talking about the Fair Trade movement and its impact. With us in the studio is Jim Henson, who has worked tirelessly on Fair Trade locally and helped establish Chico as a Fair Trade Town in 2009–only the second town in California to earn that designation. The anniversary of that event is being celebrated today. Welcome, Jim.
–Please tell us a little about the Fair Trade Town movement. How did you get involved? What did it require for Chico to earn this certification? We know, too, that your work with Fair Trade Town did not end with the celebration three years ago. What have you and the Fair Trade Team been doing in recent months? What do you have planned for the future? How do you see Fair Trade as helping the local economy?
–Do you think the human race is a part of the earth’s ecosystem? Please tell us your vision of how Fair Trade is working to preserve the ecosystem. Does Fair Trade chocolate, for example, “make a difference”?
–We see that your brought along some Fair Trade craft items. Let’s go to visual radio and have you tell them about these items:
…thumb piano made by recycled human garbage,
…shaker that is made from environment–bean shells etc.
…paper made from elephant dung.
–You also argue that organic coffee and tea and how this benefit the farmer in far off lands as well as the consumer here at home. Please explain.
–Finally, Jim Henson, please tell our listeners–including both businesses and individuals–how they can get involved with the Fair Trade movement here in Chico, including coming events and activities.
Many thanks to Jim Henson, Chico’s Fair Trade Guy, for being with us this evening.