Sasha Caldera is a member of Fair Trade Vancouver’s Board of Directors. As part of his research for his M.A. thesis, he recently left for India to visit a number of Fair Trade cooperatives. The following is a post about cotton in India and the challenges that farmers must face.
Indian cotton farmers maneuver between fair trade, Monsanto and debt in search of better life
A spotlight on the challenges that Indian cotton farmers face in providing our clothes
Cotton in full bloom during a December harvest season. Photo credit courtesy of Amie Presley.
Mumbai, Maharashtra—As one of the most controversial cash crops in the world, cotton is heavily subsidized by developed countries and subsequently dumped onto markets, lowering world prices. As a result, cotton producers in developing countries, in particular Cote d’Ivoire, and Benin, are unable to compete with this cheap cotton, and it's no coincidence that West African nations import cotton from the United States, despite having an edge in cotton production.
Sasha Caldera is a member of Fair Trade Vancouver’s Board of Directors. As part of his research for his M.A. thesis, he recently left for India to visit a number of Fair Trade cooperatives. The following is a post about salt production in Gujarat, India and the landless and forgotten Agariya.
The forgotten workers of Little Rann
A close-up look at the young men who work in appalling conditions to supply India with salt.
The cracked and dry landscape of the salt plains of Little Rann.
Gujarat, India — Commerce has played a central role in shaping Gujarati history since 3000 B.C. And, amidst the shrubbery and arid climate, the salt plains of Little Rann (another word for small desert) are home to perhaps one of the most marginalized groups in the region.
Earlier in the year, Mark Abbott, one of the more beloved members of Fair Trade Vancouver, left for Toronto to become the new Director of People at Engineers Without Borders. Not only is it exciting to see one of Fair Trade Vancouver’s own make his way into such an esteemed position, but it’s also great to have his support at a national level.
Recently, Mark posted an EWB feature video where he introduces audiences to the Fair Trade system and EWB’s approach to engaging Canadians in this issue — and he does it all while sporting a Fair Trade Vancouver “Go Bananas for Fair Trade” T-shirt!
Thanks to everyone who came out for the Fair Trade Vancouver Holiday Market and Gala earlier this month. I couldn’t make it out to the market portion of the day—on account of some pretty heavy end-of-term schoolwork, but I did make it to the Gala. And as one of Fair Trade Vancouver’s resident photographers, I made sure to get plenty of good shots. We’ll have some of the photos on Facebook soon enough.
Ten Thousand Villages is North America’s largest and oldest Fair Trade organization, celebrating 65 years of long-term, direct relationships with over 100 artisan groups in more than 35 countries. Ten Thousand Villages extensive Fair Trade product line features hand-crafted jewellery and personal accessories, natural home décor, and food and skin care products that celebrate both cultural traditions and environmental responsibility
Vastu Chai was created in 2004 from a passion for high quality tea and a desire to offer an ethically sourced & intentionally grown tea line to enthusiasts. Our Traditional Masala, is a blend of loose leaf black tea and eight different spices based on my family recipe, which has, over time, evolved into a rich, perfectly balanced chai masala. The recipe was inherited from my mum, passed on to her from my grandmother and great-grandmother, who all originate from the state of Gujarat in Western India.
Since 1990 World Folk Art Imports has been privileged to work with artisans in developing countries. Fair wages are paid and we work with recycled, reusable textiles and materials which are ethically sourced. We remain steadfast in our commitment to preserving artisan’s traditional skills, all the while promoting sustainable, renewable resources.
What's going to be happening at this year's Holiday Fair & Gala? Well, these vendors will be there to show you the latest in Fair Trade holiday goods.
The Shanti Uganda Society works to improve infant and maternal health, to provide safe women-centred care and support the well-being of birthing mothers and women living with HIV and AIDS in Uganda. Through their Women's Income Generating Group, they produce beautiful fair trade beads and sewn crafts to support and empower women in the community with HIV and AIDS. The proceeds of the products are then put back into the community through The Shanti Uganda Society Birth House and Learning Centre and other women-centred programs.
Social Conscience Sports Ball
Social Conscience distributes Fair Trade Sports Balls including soccer balls, volleyballs, beach volleyballs, and basketballs. Fair Trade Sports Balls, contribute positively to the welfare of families in Pakistan, where over 70% of the world’s soccer balls are stitched. Fair Trade sports balls are guaranteed for quality and competitively priced.
A Nu Tea begins with Passion. Passion for Africa and its people. Passion for Health and Well-being. And Passion for a great cup of Tea. We strive to bring you teas which meet the strictest standards of Organic and Fair Trade Certifications, without compromising on great taste. We make a difference in small communities around the world, by supporting the farmers who devote their lives to growing the best teas we can source.
Our actions should embellish the Earth, nourish our communities, enlighten our Spirit & inspire our Children! Namasthé endeavours to be the first tea company that creates nourishment in all aspects of our operations. It is just our Nature!
The ONEbean Coffee Company helps non-profit and community organizations raise funds through coffee sales. We support our business partners with long-term, easy to use fundraising strategies. We use responsibly sourced certified products; we want to make a positive, lasting impact on the families that grow our coffee. We are committed to taste and flavour, using the highest quality, 100% Arabica, freshly roasted beans.
Saul Good is a man on a mission. He is a merchant of stories. He builds relationships the old-fashioned way: with top-quality service, great products, and attention to details. Saul Good’s passion is to create amazing gifts filled with messages and meaning. Our stylish reusable boxes contain the freshest, best tasting and locally sourced artisan products that BC has to offer. They have a way of bringing people together, and connecting them to a bigger circle of shared experiences. Everything is chosen with scrupulous ethics, keeping our community and environment top of mind. 100% all good!
Today Florimex Vancouver Inc. has evolved into a buying service for fresh flowers and all other floral related products. Our business, however, is done all around the Globe. We purchase and sell anywhere in the world where floral products are grown, and/or needed. We service a large variety of customers; from retail florists to large wholesalers and growers; from individual grocery stores to large chain stores; from event planners to the Marine industry.
Ever-evolving, la mano is continually engaging with our producers and producer cooperatives and organizations. This past August we found a wonderful new Zapoteca Indigenous Women's Weaving Cooperative, Vida Nueva, to work with for the handcrafting of our beautiful wool shawls.
Our intent? To trade fairly and directly with small scale producers in developing countries. The farmers we know work very hard. Trading fairly with farmers means we need to appreciate this hard work and the risk involved with raising and selling crops. We work with producers to ensure Quality, Transparency and accountability.
EcoFair Trading is a small fair trade importer and distributor based in Port Moody. As strict fair traders, they trade directly with 9 producer groups in 6 countries, all members and fair trade certified organizations of the WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization) and/or the Fair Trade Federation. EcoFair sells 100+ eco-friendly fair trade handicrafts, many made from recycled found materials that are completely finished in the home country.
Located in Vancouver BC, Ethical Bean roasts only the best Fairtrade Certified, Organic Coffee. As a company we pride ourselves in being both just, and better, in everything that we do. Whether through programs that respect the earth and its farmers or by leaving a minimal environmental footprint, we are constantly seeking new ways to do the right thing. just. better. isn’t just our tagline, it’s the standard by which we live and breathe.
Fair Trade Brokers
Our mission is to bring you Fair Trade certified food products at a reasonable price, often only slightly higher than their conventional counterpart. Most of FTB's products come from Oxfam Fairtrade, (a part of Oxfam International based out of Gent, Belgium). FTB is an important component for developing countries, supporting sustainable partnerships that provide a decent income for marginalized producers. You can find our products in grocery stores and coffee shops across Canada.
With eight stores and a rice bakery across Metro Vancouver and the Okanagan, including our newest store in Kelowna, BC, Choices Markets is Western Canada's largest grocer of natural and organic food. We are proud to provide the best and healthiest foods for your family. You now have a choice for something better. We're committed to upholding our vision of offering our customers the choice between organic and conventional foods, while providing exceptional customer service in a friendly and welcoming environment.
In business since 1999, Discovery Organics is an independently owned Canadian distributor of certified organic and fair trade produce. We passionately work to promote Certified Organic and Fair Trade by building relationships with small scale farmers here at home, as well as abroad. We serve hundreds of customers, including natural food retailers and wholesalers across Western Canada and the Canadian North.
Doi Chaang Coffee is you’re only single origin, Thai coffee in North America. It is 100% Arabica, certified organic, and is leading the market in a Beyond Fair Trade initiative. The Thai farmers have been gifted 50% of the Canadian company; with their dedication to a higher standard, and our dedication to them, it makes this a coffee worth drinking!