Mankato First Fair Trade Town in Minnesota
Issue No.30, September 18, 2018
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As students across the country get ready to return to campuses and classrooms, we’re sharing ideas for bringing Fair Trade back to school and celebrating how Fair Trade supports education in communities around the world. And if you or someone you know will be packing school lunches soon, here are printable lunchbox notes from Fair Trade USA!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela

Here are a few different ways that communities across the world are using these funds to invest in learning opportunities for themselves and future generations. These are your dollars at work.

• In Sinaloa, Mexico, where temperatures average 92 degrees Fahrenheit during the hottest months, fishermen voted to use Fair Trade Community Development Funds to install air conditioning units in the classrooms at Altata Primary School where many of their children attend school.
• Cooperativa de los Andes, a Fair Trade Certified coffee co-op with roughly 3,500 members, voted to spend Community Development Funds to provide school kits to their children. These kits include a backpack, notebooks, and other school utensils.
• For tea growers in the Mpanga community of Uganda, paying for their children’s school fees is by far the biggest financial constraint. Fair Trade funds have helped pay those fees so that children can go to school and receive an education, leaving parents hopeful of one day sending their children to college. 


Noor Hassan from the Mankato Soccer Club a nonprofit that works with local Somali and Sudanese youth in a soccer development program!!  He was thrilled with the donation. 

UC Berkeley is now one of the largest Fair Trade campuses in the country and part of a national initiative by Fair Trade Campaigns to engage university students in issues of global poverty.

Join the global launch of the most important document of the Fair Trade movement – the International Fair Trade Charter. On 25 September 2018, Fair traders across five continents will present the Charter that proclaims the Fair Trade vision and approaches. WFTO Chief Executive Erinch Sahan invites the public to join the global launch of the Fair Trade Charter on 25 September 2018, also the 3rd anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Saturday, September 29th
International Coffee Day 2018 in the US

Americans drink more than 400 million cups of coffee per day. If tomorrow each one of us woke up and made just one cup Fair Trade, we would drive at least an additional $2 million dollars back to coffee farmers to help them address some serious challenges. In just one day. Because of one little choice. That’s pretty amazing.

In honor of National Coffee Day, September 29th, Fair Trade USA is challenging everyone to make #JustOneCup of their daily coffee Fair Trade Certified. This simple change will generate millions of additional dollars for coffee farmers throughout the world, helping them build sustainable livelihoods and ensuring a ready supply of coffee for generations to come.

You can buy Fair Trade coffee in Mankato at Hy-vee, Cub, Aldi, CVS, Target & Sams Club.  

It’s time for all of us to wake up and smell the coffee.

This October is Fair Trade Month.  Throughout the month, ethically-minded consumers, retailers and brands will unite to celebrate and promote Fair Trade. Look for MAFTTI  displays in the Blue Earth County Library, the Taylor Library in North Mankato and area businesses.  
Fair Trade is a market-based approach to fighting poverty.  That means that it only works when you actually buy the stuff.  So make sure you’re holding up your end of the bargain during October! Be a fair consumer one product at a time. Join the movement! #livefair

You can support Fair Trade one product at a time. From breakfast to dinner time, there are many ways you can include Fair Trade products in your daily consumption. Delight your day with a cup perfectly roasted Dominican coffee in the morning, or sport a finely crafted artisanal bracelet from Guatemala, or wear a floral skirt made by empowered women in India, or enjoy a bar of organic chocolate from Ghanaian cocoa farmers, or adorn your house with a masterfully handcrafted home decoration from Indonesia. For products available in the Mankato area, see our shopping guide.

Encouraging fair consumption promotes conscientious purchasing of products based on functionality, necessity and usefulness. Fair consumers can help promote responsible production and save the planet from exploitation and further degradation. The balance between economic and ecological sustainability is the guiding motto of living fairly. 

Take the time to teach a friend or family member about the importance of Fair Trade. Help them to understand why Every Purchase Matters and why farmers in the developing world need our support. Fair Trade can be a tricky concept to grasp, so the new Fair Trade Month PSA features a simple explanation from a 7-year-old who also happens to be an expert shopper.  Share these two-minute videos to help explain the impact of Fair Trade, the environmental benefits of Fair Trade, and the power of the consumer.

Look for these labels on products.

Fair Trade Certified:
The most common label in the USA,
administered by Fair Trade USA 

: The International Fairtrade Mark, owned by Fairtrade International 

Fair for Life:
Initially promoted by the Institute for Marketecology.

The Small Producers’ Symbol (SPP) is different. It was developed by Fair Trade producers in Latin America and the Caribbean and is supported by, among others, Equal Exchange, the original Fair Trade coffee roasting co-op in the USA.

This Halloween, you can help end the exploitation of children in the cocoa industry and raise awareness of Fair Trade! You can hand out Fair Trade chocolate with informational cards attached, to explain the problems of the cocoa industry and how Fair Trade presents a solution.

Reverse Trick-or-Treating is an initiative launched by the human rights organization Global Exchange in cooperation with Fair Trade companies Equal Exchange, and Coco-Zen to raise awareness of abuses in the cocoa industry. 

Despite years of promises from the major chocolate manufacturers, too little has been done to tackle the documented problem of forced child labor on many farms that supply their cocoa. Moreover, at the bottom of the chain, cocoa farmers have been left in poverty year after year.

There is a SOLUTION!

This Fair Trade chocolate is proof that change is possible - today - and represents an important step towards larger reforms. 

 Mankato area churches will be selling mini chocolates or go to Equal Exchange to order. Usually the minis are $38 per box, but after October 1st, for the Halloween special, minis will be $28.00 for a box of 150. If you order $135.00 worth of minis (about 5 boxes), the shipping is free. 


What does Mankato have in common with Riobamba (Ecuador), Ghent (Belgium), Mendez (Lebanon),  New Koforidua (Ghana), Pondicherry (India), Taipei (Taiwan) and Wellington (New Zealand)?  They are all part of a network of over 2,000 “Fair Trade Towns” in over 30 countries.  45 of them are in the USA, some small and some large (Houston, TX is the latest).

Mankato became a “Fair Trade Town” seven years ago - the first, and still the only one, in Minnesota. The work of MAFTTI in enabling the Fair Trade Towns criteria to be met was recognized by a Resolution passed unanimously by the Mankato City Council on October 24, 2011.  The underlying vision is to raise the capacity of small farmers and artisan producers in poor countries to obtain better (i.e. fairer) trading terms, not least by encouraging US consumers to purchase their products.

The originators of the “Fair Trade Town” idea must be astonished at how, in less than 20 years, their idea has spread around the world from Garstang, an old market town (population c.6,500) in north-west England.  The story of how it all began, and the latest list of countries with Fair Trade Towns, is here.

October 19-21 will see enthusiasts from over 100 widely scattered Fair Trade Towns converge on Madrid, Spain, for the 12th International Fair Trade Towns conference.  The theme this year is “Sustainable Consumption, Caring for Life”. 

Past experience shows that these annual gatherings, which MAFTTI has been able to attend twice, help ideas to be shared about Fair Trade campaigning on behalf of “comercio justo” (as Spanish-speakers put it) and enable Fair Trade activists in the Global North (mainly consumer-based) and Global South (mainly producer-based) to exchange views on the future of the international Fair Trade movement.

Kylie Nealis, Campus & Community Engagement Coordinator for Fair Trade Campaigns, will be at the conference. She told MAFTTI that 

“I’m looking forward to attending the 2018 Fair Trade Towns International Conference to meet Fair Trade advocates from around the world and, in particular, to learn what global Fair Trade university campaigns are doing and share best practices from my work with U.S. universities. As a first-time attendee, I plan to make the most of my experience and bring back learnings and insights that can help grow and scale the Fair Trade movement here at home.

The conference website is here. Click on the Menu to see the program and more.

Copyright © 2018 MAFTTI, All rights reserved.
MAFTTI Newsletter No.30, September 18, 2018

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Mankato Fair Trade Town · 228 Parkway Pl · Mankato, Mn 56001 · USA

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