While there are over 1,500 Fair Trade Towns around the world, there are only 35 here in the United States. Of the 35 Fair Trade Towns, 4 of them: Brattleboro, Vermont; Amherst, Northampton, and Conway, MA are right in our backyard. With enough community support and effort, towns like Greenfield or Easthampton could be one of the next.
In 2007 Pioneer Valley Local First joined the Northampton Fair Trade Coalition and played a key role in helping Northampton become the 6TH Fair Trade Town in the country. We look forward to continuing to promote Fair Trade products at local businesses here in the Pioneer Valley.
We are now helping to create and partner with the Pioneer Valley Fair Trade Committee to promote the important message and mission of Fair Trade in the three counties of the Pioneer Valley. If you would like to help in our efforts, please be in touch.
People in Fair Trade Towns use their everyday choices to support Fair Trade by offering and purchasing products, like chocolate, coffee, tea, bananas, etc...which make a positive, sustainable change in the lives of farmers in developing countries. Fair, direct and transparent trade practices make it possible for farmers to thrive instead of just merely survive, which is all too often the case.
Around Western Massachusetts (and originally in Brattleboro) we are calling our campaign "Buy Local, Buy Fair." The idea of Buy Local, Buy Fair is to encourage people to buy Fair Trade products at locally owned, independent businesses; this way we can take care of the world and ourselves with every purchase and we go in a direction where everyone benefits. While not locally owned, we do want to thank and recognize Ten Thousand Villages for their commitment to promoting Fair Trade products both here in Northampton and across North America.
When shopping at locally owned, independent businesses, please look for these Fair Trade Certified labels and support Fair Trade for communities here and abroad. Thank You!
When you see these labels you can be confident that you are getting products that are safer for you and your family and better for small farmers the world over.
To learn more about Fair Trade, please go to: Fair Trade Resource Network
In addition, there are even Fair Trade Universities, so if you are a student or teacher please get your school or college involved, click here to learn more.
To learn about the growing movement of Domestic Fair Trade please go to: TheDFTA.org
At the end of the day, when you purchase Fair Trade products, your purchase matters.