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Letter to the editor

Fair trade products ensure fair pay, no child labor

October 8, 2009

I was happy to see Laura Krawczyk’s column in the Student Voice on Sept. 25. Her article was about fair trade products and how, by purchasing fair trade products, we as consumers can play a role in reducing world poverty and hunger. When we buy fair trade, we buy products that are certified to assure that farmers were paid justly for their products and that there was no child labor involved. Typically, fair trade products are processed and marketed through cooperatives that assure benefits for the local communities where the products were produced.

I encourage students and faculty to buy fair trade products from the Whole Earth Grocery (co-op) on Main Street, as well as a few other fair trade locations in town. I also encourage students to go to fair trade Web sites to investigate other initiatives we might take, including encouraging the sale of more fair trade products (such as coffee, tea, chocolate and fruit) on campus.

If you would like to become more involved with fair trade issues, I am creating an e-mail list of interested people. Please contact me to be placed on that list (jacqueline.m.brux@uwrf.edu). Please also watch for upcoming publicity about campus showings of the video, “Black Gold,” which builds awareness of fair trade issues through the example of coffee produced in Ethiopia. Please also consider addressing the issue at the World Food Day Program Oct. 16 in the Falcon’s Nest of the University Center. There will be a live teleconference at 11 a.m., a video showing at noon and a presentation at 1 p.m.

The public is invited.
     
Dr. Jackie Brux
Professor of Economics