The twelfth annual Fair Trade Fair was held this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Local not-for-profit vendors came to sell unique Fair Trade products. The items on sale included chocolates, coffee, art and great gifts for family. The fair’s purpose is to give students the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts for loved ones, but also support a worthy cause. Students should come away with more than a small gift, they should come away with an awareness.
“Education is the most important reason we hold the fair trade fair,” said Mr. Marvin Grilliot. “Buying things should be a relationship, and this fair lets the customer think about the people who are actually creating the things we purchase.”
“Our organization provides single moms the opportunity to earn a living. This is their sole source of income,” Joyce Feder, president of Gotta Have Hope, said. “All proceeds, minus sales tax and international wire fee, go to them. Coming to Rockhurst gives students the opportunity to buy great gifts for a fair price, and also spreads the word of our organization.”
The organizations present at the fair included Ten Thousand Villages, Global Souls Fair Trade, Unbound and Gotta Have Hope. These organizations believe in better conditions for workers and higher wages. Each organization sold its own unique items. Ten Thousand Villages and Global Souls Fair Trade sold various items made from around the world. Unbound sold coffee and art. Gotta Have Hope supports a school in Uganda, and they had various items made by Ugandans.
“It’s important to support the people who make the crafts we buy,” Will Tampke, junior, said. “A purchase at the fair trade fair supports good working conditions.”
There are many people around the globe who do not have a way to make a fair living, and if they do, often times it is under poor working conditions. Fair trade is important because it provides the artisans with fair wages, long term contracts and good working conditions. With these benefits, the worker is able to sustain a good life and provide for his or her family.