Media Fair Trade Town Meeting with FTF, 03/29/12

Thank you so much to Media,PA, (the First Fair Trade town in the U.S.) Fair Trade Committee for thier kind welcoming of the Penn State Brandywine representatives. Renee Bowers (Executive Director) and Madeline Kreider Carlson (Membership & Program Mgr.) of Fair Trade Federation were there to explain how the FTF works to coordinate between FT wholesalers and FT producers and how they keep thier producers current. Very informative and especially a confidence builder in the Fair Trade movement! Bravo!

Contributed by Bryan Marton

Fair Trade Water Ice?

I’ve been looking online at ways to make fair trade water ice. I can’t find anything that has to do with making fair trade water ice. I was wondering if there was any criteria on how to make Fair Trade water ice, or does anyone have any ideas of how this could be done?

Contributed by Joe Sweeny

Celebrating Saint Patricks Day the Fair Trade Way!

HAE NOW is a producer of Fair Trade T-Shirts, and for Saint Patrick’s Day HAE t-shirts decided to go green! But the t-shirts were not the only thing that was hot during the holiday. Alter Eco, has a dark mint chocolate to help create refreshingly intense Fair Trade Certified organic chocolate grown exclusively by small-scale farmers. Also, Choice Organic Tea’s have a Irish Breakfast Tea! This black herbal tea is fair trade with a side of caffeine punch to go along with it!

Contributed by Joe Sweeny

Fair Trade electronics

I read the article on Fair Trade USA’s website, “Will the World Ever See Fair Trade iPads?” by Keith Wagstaff from TIME, that asks if electronic devices will ever be Fair Trade. Wagstaff finds that it is very possible to make Fair Trade electronic devices, but it is only going to happen if there are enough people asking for them. Since electronic devices are more expensive than a cup of coffee the extra money you pay is much more noticeable. In the example the Wagstaff uses it would cost the consumer $100 dollars more to buy a Fair Trade iPad if one existed. I think that it’s ridiculous that consumers even have to think about this. They shouldn’t look at this as paying extra money they should look at this as the standard. If iPads were made in America then they would cost way more money. Why is it that a Chinese worker’s time is not as important as an American’s? Plus who really needs an iPad? It’s a luxury. If someone really thinks they have to have one in their life shell out the money and make someone else’s life more livable.

Contributed by Louis Donaghue

HAE Now tees: a great step in a fair direction

Fair Trade Coffee by nyoin at flickr’s creative commons

So many organizations on college campuses find unity in wearing the same t-shirt, whether it’s for a sports team, a hobbies club, or a specific fundraiser. Students and faculty go through various types of t-shirt companies to design and purchase bulk orders of tees, but most of these companies do not stand for anything. HAE Now, an organic and Fair Trade t-shirt company, stands for environmental and social sustainability. HAE Now has partnered with Fair Trade USA, committing not only to protect the environment through their organic practices, but to care for farmers and their families as well.

Any organization on any campus has the opportunity to stand for something, too. By using companies like HAE Now to provide tees for their events, clubs and groups on college campuses have the ability to make change in the lives of those in impoverished areas. As Fair Trade USA says, “Every purchase counts.”

Read more at Fair Trade USA’s blog.
Like HAE Now on facebook!

Contributed by Sara Neville


Fair Trade Sports

Since Fair Trade sports games are on our horizon, I wanted to take a closer look at the world of Fair Trade sports balls and what kind of gear is available. According to Fair Trade USA there are, “Fair Trade Certified soccer balls, footballs, basketballs and rugby balls…” on the market already. Each product is made in a sweat-shop free environment, where workers are given a living wage. The main behind the Fair Trade sports movement is SENDA (also known as Fair Trade Sports) which currently does mostly fair trade soccer balls and apparel. RESPECT soccer balls, the only fair trade certified sports balls, are sold by SENDA, and buying a ball ensures that no child labor goes into making that product, that workers are paid at least the national minimum wage, and that working conditions are safe. Through their site, not only can you order soccer balls, but you can customize them. So, if Penn State were to order a set of balls, we could customize them with the Penn State logo and Penn State colors. However, after surfing the site and Fair Trade USA, I wasn’t able to find other Fair Trade sports related gear. I checked out this article,, and fair trade sports products, other than Fair Trade soccer balls, have been in circulation at one point or another, but it doesn’t look as though they are currently available. Amazon looks to have been a supplier of the RESPECT Fair Trade sports gear, but currently is not carrying anything other than soccer balls. I’m not sure what happened to the other Fair Trade sports gear, or why certain products are unavailable.

Helpful Sites:
Gear Patrol:

Contributed by Sarah DeMartino