#FairTuesday – November 27, 2012

If Black Friday wasn’t your thing, and you have already supported Small Business Saturday, we encourage you to breeze right through Cyber Monday to #FairTuesday!  Launched by the New York-based nonprofit Global Good Partners, “the goal of #FairTuesday is to inspire conscious consumerism and show how an everyday purchase can change lives in a whole community.”  So spread the word, and shop Fair Trade this holiday season (and year-round)!

So where can your purchase your Fair Trade items?  Check the online listing of supporting retailers of Fair Trade and the listing of Fair Trade Federation shops.

 

 

2012- A Year to be Thankful

Although the year 2012 has not yet ended, the Fair Trade TrailBlazers of Penn State Brandywine have much to be thankful for this year.

We are thankful for our Penn State Brandywine community that supported us becoming a Fair Trade University.  Without our students, staff, faculty, and alumni taking the time to learn about Fair Trade and agreeing that Fair Trade is significant and important for us to connect with, we would not have been able to establish such a strong community of passionate people that are continuing to educate others and using their purchasing power to make a difference.

We are thankful for Hal Taussig and America’s First Fair Trade Town.  Would Fair Trade even be here without Hal pursuing the idea of bringing Fair Trade Towns to the USA?  Would we have any Fair Trade Towns without Media taking the first steps to gaining the approval?  Would we at Penn State Brandywine have even considered becoming a Fair Trade University if Media wasn’t a Fair Trade Town?  We thank those that are the true “trailblazers” for bringing Fair Trade to America.

We are thankful for the certifiers.  Yes, you may not all get along, but we appreciate the challenges you offer each other.  By keeping the conversation going, it keeps the Fair Trade discussion moving forward.  Fair Trade has come far, but there is still so much further to go.  All movements have growing pains, and we as a university value informative, detailed, constructive, and civil discussions of all sides of the issue of Fair Trade certification.

We are thankful for social media.  OK, so this item may not seem like it fits in with the rest of what we are thankful for.  But if it wasn’t for Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Flickr, etc., we would not have made our initial connections with Fair Trade Campaigns National Coordinator Billy Linstead Goldsmith, or Divine Chocolate’s Amanda White.  We would not be exchanging tweets with Alta Gracia or other Fair Trade supporters from literally across the globe.  Thank you, social media, for allowing our campus to be connected in a global conversation about Fair Trade.

Most importantly, we are thankful for the farmers and the makers of Fair Trade products.  For the people that give so much of themselves to produce food and crafts ethically sourced that benefits not only their communities but our entire planet Earth – thank you for your tireless, beautiful work.

 

Making Thanksgiving Desserts Fair Trade

Every year for Thanksgiving, my husband makes two desserts from scratch that he brings to the family Thanksgiving feast.  Fortunately, because he has been brought up to speed on the impact of his purchasing Fair Trade products, he didn’t blink at all at my suggestion he swap some of his standard ingredient purchases for Fair Trade food items.  One dessert was a White and Dark Chocolate Ice Box Cake (including Green & Black’s Organic White Chocolate and 72% Dark Baking Chocolate).  But here, I’d like to share his other creation.

Espresso-Chocolate Speckle Angel Food Cake

Espresso-Chocolate Speckle Angel Food Cake

Ingredients

1 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (he used Woodstock’s Organic Powdered Sugar)
1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
12 large egg whites
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar (he used Wholesome Sweeteners Organic & Fair Trade Sugar)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (he used Frontier Vanilla Flavor)
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (unfortunately, we could not find any Fair Trade instant varieties!)
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (he used Divine 85% Dark Chocolate), grated on the fine holes of a hand grater, or in a rotary grater
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted as a chocolate drizzle (again, Divine Chocolate)

STEP ONE:  Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.  Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray (notice we used a cake pan with a cathedral design).

STEP TWO:  Sift the cake flour and confectioners’ sugar together onto a piece of waxed paper three times; set aside.

STEP THREE:  In the 4 and 1/2 quart bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, using the wire whip attachment, beat the egg whites at medium speed until frothy.  Add the cream of tartar and beat at high speed, adding the sugar gradually, until the whites are glossy and stiff, but not dry.  Add the vanilla and espresso powder and continue mixing until just incorporated.  Scrape the mixture into a large bowl.

STEP FOUR:  In three batches, resift the flour/sugar mixture over the whites and gently fold in with a large rubber spatula until just combined.  Gently fold in the grated chocolate until combined.  Scrape the batter into the bundt pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the side of the pan.  Using a knife, loosen the cake form the pan.  Let sit on a cake rack for 5 minutes and invert onto another cake rack.  Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing.

STEP FIVE:  To garnish the cake, dip a fork into the melted chocolate and drizzle the glaze over the top and sides of the cake.

STEP SIX:  Enjoy!  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Contributed by Dr. Laura Guertin

The Walden School visit, with a Fair Trade show-and-tell

On November 14th, The Walden School in Media, PA, recieved their certificate declaring them a Fair Trade school! This makes The Walden School the first Fair Trade elementary school in the nation!  The next day Dr. Guertin, Aimee Ralph, Lavanya Mookerjee, Zanya Stephenson, and I (Louis Donaghue) stopped by to give The Walden School’s students a presentation on Fair Trade. Once we got to the school, we found out that not only would we be presenting to the students, but that Hal Taussig would also be attending our presentation. Hal (seen in the photo below with our Nittany Lion) has been at the front of the Fair Trade movement in America since day one, and he is the reason Media, PA, is the first Fair Trade town in America. There certainly was a large amount of pressure added to our presenters due to Hal’s pressence, but it was really a honor to meet him and show him the impact of his hard work in his community.

The format of our presentation at The Walden School was to do a skit where Dr. Guertin was the teacher and the rest of us were students in her class, and that day was Fair Trade Show and Tell. We each brought in a Fair Trade product to talk about. First, Lavanya brought in a Dolma Fair Trade scarf and some jewelry made from the tagua nut by Minga Fair Trade Imports, then Aimee came in wearing her favorite banana suit to talk about Fair Trade bananas. Next, I came in with a Senda Athletics Fair Trade soccer ball, and lastly, the Nittany Lion arrived to hand out stickers we custom made. The kids were great and asked some fantastic questions about Fair Trade.

Thanks to everyone at Walden School for letting us visit and talk to your awesome students. We are very happy to have another Fair Trade school in the area! And thank you to Hal Taussig for coming out to see us – you made this experience even more special.

Contributed by Louis Donaghue, Fair Trade Intern

 

Hand In Hand Soap talk @ Penn State Brandywine!

On Tuesday, November 13, at 11:30AM in the Tomezsko Classroom Building at Penn State Brandywine, co-founder Bill Glaab from Hand In Hand Soap came and talked to our students about his company. Hand In Hand Soap is a specialty soap company that uses Fair Trade ingredients in its product, and donates a bar of soap to a child living in Haiti every time you buy a bar of their high quality products. Bill and Courtney Glaab started Hand In Hand Soap less than two years ago, and the company has been growing ever since. Hand In Hand Soap focuses on donating their soap to Haiti because of the damage done to the country’s infrastructure as a result of recent natural diasters, including Hurricane Sandy. Because clean water is such a hard resource to have access to right now in Haiti, hygiene is extremely important when it comes to staying disease-free. And the worst part is the people who often suffer the most are children, with death tolls extremely high due to things like cholera which could be prevented with something as simple as a bar of soap. It is Hand In Hand’s vision to one day extend their reach to all parts of the globe in need.
Hand in Hand Soap seminar

Bill’s presentation at Penn State Brandywine focused on how Hand In Hand started and the company’s mission of providing people with sanitation challenges with the basic means to live healthier lives. Students also picked Bill’s brain for details and asked questions including how to run a small business such as his, what it has meant to him to be involved in such an impactful organization, and how do you manage to work side by side with your significant other. Bill was very open and rewarding as a speaker, he was not afraid to talk about past mistakes and life changing moments in his career.

Hand in Hand Soap seminar

Afterwards Bill sat down and had lunch with a small group of us while we casually talked about the influence of people like him and his wife. I think everyone walked away with something valuable after meeting with Bill, whether it was marketing tips, learning about Fair Trade, or becoming inspired to do something great yourself. Thanks to Courtney and Bill for helping further spread Fair Trade.

Contributed by Louis Donaghue, Fair Trade Intern

WANTED: Facebook and Twitter followers (for ice cream and chocolate!)

If you have been following our website, you’ll see posts by Dr. Guertin and her experiences at the recent Fair Trade Campaigns Conference for Fair Trade Towns & Universities in Chicago.  At the conference, all students at Fair Trade Colleges & Universities were issued a challenge, and at Penn State Brandywine, we love a good challenge!

We were all asked to take a major step forward with our campus Fair Trade campaigns.  It is education and awareness about Fair Trade that changes our purchasing patterns, so we are thoughtful about the impacts we can have on the lives of farmers and artisans.

The Penn State Brandywine Fair Trade TrailBlazers have decided to accept Challenge #1, the Social Media Challenge!  Fair Trade Colleges & Universities are challenging campaigns to increase the number of people following their Facebook or Twitter pages by 100.  We, the Fair Trade TrailBlazers, have decided to increase the number of followers in Facebook by 100 AND in Twitter by 100!

This is where we need your help!  If you are on Facebook and/or Twitter, please follow us to learn more about Fair Trade, what we do, and what YOU can do as an individual and with our group to make a global difference.  Spread the word to family and friends to follow us as well!

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/psubwfairtrade

This is the number of “Likes” [53] our Fair Trade TrailBlazers Facebook page had at the start of the challenge (the last day of the conference), October 28, 2012.

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/psubw_fairtrade

This is the number of “Followers” [156] our Fair Trade TrailBlazers Twitter account had at the start of the challenge (the last day of the conference), October 28, 2012.

OK, maybe the “education and awareness” side isn’t enough to get you joining us online.  How about some Fair Trade chocolate and ice cream? (yum!)  For our first 50 new followers in Twitter and 50 new followers in Facebook, each person will entered into a raffle to win a free pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (any one of their Fair Trade flavors)!  For all of our 100 new follower in Twitter and Facebook, each person will win a free Fair Trade Penn State t-shirt and a selection of Fair Trade chocolate.  Now, we hope we have your attention, and that we can keep your attention, energy, and enthusiasm for Fair Trade.

Questions?  Please contact fairtrade@bw.psu.edu