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FREE Summer / Fall 2016

fair trade C A N A DA’ S V O I C E F O R S O C I A L S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y

Handmade gifts and the skilled artisans who make them Fair trade ingredients for natural cosmetics Unravelling Fairtrade's new textile standard

Controversial Quinoa



We’ve been proudly using 100% Fairtrade certified beans for nearly two decades. That’s almost 20 years of exceptional tasting coffee made with beans we feel good about. Thanks to the farmers, the thinkers, and great coffee drinkers who are part of our story. Thanks for waking up and kicking ass with us. And thanks for changing the world one deep, dark and fairly delicious cup at a time.



Controversial Quinoa

Is it wrong to eat quinoa? Not if it's fair trade quinoa—just ask the people who grow it.


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Fair Trade Cosmetics

By embracing fair trade, women who grow and harvest ingredients for natural cosmetics, like argan and shea, can make a living and support their communities.

on the cover Quinoa.................................................................................11 Cosmetics..........................................................................15 Handcrafted Gifts......................................................... 19 Textile Standard............................................................24

inside Publisher’s Letter.............................................................4


Perfect Imperfection

Handcrafted goods make beautiful one-of-akind gifts. Read about how talented artisans from across the globe benefit from direct trading relationships with Canadian buyers.

Why Fair Trade?...............................................................5 Fair Trade Program Update.........................................6 Fair Trade in Canada......................................................9

recipe Chocolate Two Ways....................................................28

book review Manifesto of the Poor...................................................30 Cover: Brigida Silvestre harvests quinoa at the foot of Mount Tunupa on Bolivia's Altiplano Plateau. Éric St-Pierre's images originally appear in his book, Fair Trade: A

human journey (Goose Lane Editions, 2012).


Fairtrade Textile Standard

Learn about Fairtrade International's new textile standard. It aims to certify the entire textile supply chain—from cotton production to garment manufacturing.




publisher’s letter

Buy Fair Trade. Build a Better World.


ach day we make decisions that touch thousands of lives—if not tens of thousands. Our daily diets often include food and beverages from all over the world: coffee from Ethiopia, tea from India, quinoa from Bolivia, and bananas and chocolate from Peru. When we factor in the clothes and jewellery we wear, as well as the flowers, chocolates, and gifts we give on special occasions, it’s easy to see how our buying habits can affect the people on the other end of so many globe-crossing supply chains. Therefore, making decisions like buying fair trade products allows us to ensure that the farmers growing our coffee and the workers stitching our garments are compensated fairly. When you think about it, we have an incredible opportunity. By making the decision to buy fair trade on a daily basis, we are supporting the shift to a better world—a more just, more sustainable world. While fair trade assures that workers and farmers are paid a minimum price for their labour, it also helps establish longterm relationships between businesses and producers. These are relationships based upon mutual respect and mutual benefit. This past April, I visited Peru and saw how equal trading relationships, established through fair trade, have created opportunities for a community of cocoa farmers. I watched them harvest and process cocoa beans, fill bags, and load them onto a truck. These farmers receive a fair price for their cocoa, and because they can count on stable trading relationships, their operation is growing. With funds paid through the Fairtrade Premium, they have built new drying facilities and purchased a truck to haul beans from the field to their processing area. In some ways, this community offers us a snapshot of a better world, one where modern efficiencies complement traditional agricultural methods, where trading relationships benefit people on both ends of the supply chain. The cocoa producers I met are just one example. Millions of workers and producers have embraced fair trade, proving that change is possible when we establish terms of trade that work for everybody. As we shift toward a truly global community based on equal relationships, the old power dynamics will fall away. Buying fair trade products contributes to the building of a more balanced and equitable future, for the planet and for people all over the world.

Sean McHugh Publisher, Executive Director Canadian Fair Trade Network 4 | F A I R T R A D E M A G A Z I N E ¡ C A N A D A’ S V O I C E F O R S O C I A L S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y

Publisher | Sean McHugh Managing Editor | Erik Johnson Editor | Bryce Tarling Contributers | Mike Hasler, Kimberly Leung, Gwen Richards and Chris Nicol, Will Richter, and Amy Wood Cover Photo | Éric St-Pierre Photo Credits | Didier Gentilhomme (2, 25), Suzanne Lee (25), Robert McKinnon (5, 19–22), Anand Parman (24, 25), Natasha Pirani (4), Gwen Richards (3, 15–17), Éric St-Pierre (2, 11, 13), and Amy Wood (28–29) Original Design | Wade Stewart Issue Layout | Erik Johnson

We want to hear from you! 514 – 207 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7 1-604-685-6005  |

Canadian Fair Trade Network Réseau canadien du commerce équitable

The Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) is a non-profit organization that works with civil society and industry stakeholders to advance awareness and support for fair trade in Canada. It supports collaboration and best practices within the fair trade movement to increase Canadian commitments to international social responsibility. Fair Trade Magazine is published by the Canadian Fair Trade Network. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without publisher’s written permission. Not responsible for unsolicited editorial material. The information provided in this magazine is for educational and informational purposes only. Fair Trade Magazine makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides but cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions.

Why Fair Trade? The fair trade movement exists because terms of trade are often unfair. This puts producers all over the world in disadvantaged positions.

How does it work? Fair trade is an alternative approach to conventional trade, based on partnerships between producers and consumers. When farmers sell their products through fair trade, they receive a minimum price, improved terms, and a social premium that brings them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future.

For us Fair trade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through everyday purchases. Fair trade also helps us better understand where our products come from.

Standards There are distinct sets of standards that ensure basic labour rights are respected for farmers organized in co-operatives, hired workers, and independent artisans.

Benefits In the fair trade system businesses pay a minimum price and an additional premium, which is used to help fund education, healthcare, infrastructure, and business-improvement projects in the producers’ communities. The producers form committees to decide how to spend the premium.

The bigger picture Fair trade supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, addresses climate change through improved agricultural techniques, and encourages business practices that reduce poverty for producers in the global south.

Assurance Third-party certifiers and membership-based organizations ensure that standards are met, often using a seal or a stamp of approval on product packaging. The Canadian Fair Trade Network currently recognizes the following certifiers and/or membership-based organizations: Fairtrade International, the Small Producers’ Symbol, the World Fair Trade Organization, and the Fair Trade Federation.



Fair Trade Program Update Municipalities, universities, colleges, and schools that demonstrate a strong commitment to fair trade are recognized through the Fair Trade Town, Campus, and School programs. These programs aim to engage and educate individuals and communities, promoting awareness about fair trade and supporting the movement across Canada. Learn more at

Canada has 22 Fair Trade Towns The citizens of Chelsea, Que, celebrated becoming Canada's 22nd Fair Trade Town in June.

16 Fair Trade Campuses University of Western was designated Canada's 11th Fair Trade Campus this January.

10 Fair Trade Schools In May, Olds High School became the sixth Canadian school to receive Fair Trade designation.

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A Sari’s Second Life

In Bangladesh, the colours and patterns of sari cloth come in nearly infinite varieties. Too beautiful to throw away, the fabric is upcycled by women at the Hajiganj workshop into one-of-a-kind throws, baskets and accessories. Each item helps provide a sustainable income, and helps their workshop – and community – thrive. Discover the amazing stories behind these and all our products in-store, at a festival sale or online at

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Fair Trade in Canada

May 16 | Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec École secondaire Ozias-Leduc named Canada’s 7th Fair Trade School May 17 | Toronto, Ontario University of Toronto Scarborough named Canada’s 15th Fair Trade Campus May 19 | Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Fair Trade Saskatoon held a fair trade wine and chocolate night as part of Fairtrade Month May 24 | Toronto, Ontario Trinity College named Canada’s 16th Fair Trade Campus

Tukwini Mandela speaks at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights during the 4th Annual Fair Trade Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba


January 21 | London, Ontario Western University named Canada’s 11th Fair Trade Campus February 2 | Sorel-Tracy, Quebec Cégep de Sorel-Tracy named Canada’s 13th Fair Trade Campus


June 4 | Chelsea, Quebec Chelsea named Canada’s 22nd Fair Trade Town June 13 | L'Assomption, Quebec Collége de L'Assomption named Canada’s 8th Fair Trade School June 22 | Port Colborne, Ontario McKay Public School named Canada’s 9th Fair Trade School


February 18–20 | Winnipeg, Manitoba National Fair Trade Conference attracts 350 delegates to Winnipeg February 19 | Gimli, Manitoba Gimli High School named Canada’s 5th Fair Trade School


CFTN launches cocoa campaign through the use of heatsensitive cups that reveal the harsh realities of the industry


Thirteen Canadians visit Peru to see how fair trade benefits producers


May 1 | Fairtrade Month kicks off across Canada May 10 | Toronto, Ontario University of St. Michael's College named Canada's 14th Fair Trade Campus May 10 | Olds, Alberta Olds High School named Canada’s 6th Fair Trade School May 14 | World Fair Trade Day celebrated across the world



Fresh.Beautiful.Ethical. A Gesture of love for one. An act of support for many.

Order your Fairtrade roses at any of the following retailers: The Flower Forest, Dryden, ON Carolyn’s Floral Design, Brandon, MB Carman Florist, Carman, MB Sobey’s, Gimli, MB Cut & Dried Russell Flowers, Russell, MB Evangeline’s Flower Hut, Steinbach, MB Stonewall Florist, Stonewall, MB Broadway Florist, Winnipeg, MB Edward Carriere, Winnipeg, MB The Floral Fixx, Winnipeg, MB The Flower Lady, Winnipeg, MB The Fresh Carrot, Winnipeg, MB U Floria, Winnipeg, MB Boyle Floral Cottage, Boyle, AB Funky Petals, Edmonton, AB Graham & Lane Florist, Edmonton, AB Falher IDA Pharmacy, Falher, AB Moniek’s, Lacombe, AB Choices Markets, BC Thrifty Foods, BC Polka Dot Door, Osoyoos, BC Steveston Super Grocer, Richmond, BC Claytons Heritage Market, Sechelt, BC Bloom Room Botanical Gallery, Vancouver, BC Meinhardt Fine Foods, Vancouver, BC Olla Urban Flower Project, Vancouver, BC The Flowerbox Florists, Vancouver, BC West Van Florist, West Vancouver, BC

Distributor of Fairtrade certified flowers

Winnipeg | Saskatoon | Edmonton | Calgary | Vancouver 80886 FS Fair Trade Ad.indd 1

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2016-06-02 3:13 AM

growing change

Controversial Quinoa: The story of a misplaced global panic BY W ILL R ICHTER


ave you heard that it’s immoral to eat quinoa? If so, you can probably trace the blame to a 2011 New York Times article entitled “Quinoa’s Global Success Creates Quandary at Home.” In it, the authors suggest that quinoa’s newfound popularity among North American consumers has caused malnutrition rates to increase among children in Bolivia. They claim that increased demand has raised prices to the point where the nutritious staple has become inaccessible to the poorest farmers who grow it. The concern only adds to fears of wider malnutrition in a country with a long history of food insecurity. Though careful to cite Bolivians who support the industry, the takeaway is clear: Eat quinoa, and Bolivian children will starve. More alarmist headlines soon followed. “Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa?” blared a post in The Guardian. TIME ran a piece on “The dark side of an Andean superfood.” Similar articles appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Independent, al Jazeera, and others. It was an enticing story—rich, selfsatisfied health enthusiasts unwittingly harm some of the poorest people in the world. The only problem? It wasn’t true; at best, it vastly oversimplified the complicated matter of food security.

Life on the Altiplano To understand the effect of Western quinoa consumption on the people who produce it, we must first understand where quinoa comes from. In Bolivia, the nutty, grain-like seed grows mostly in the southern Altiplano region—an arid, desert-like plateau subject to frequent

Miguel-Angel Mayorga harvesting quinoa near the village of Ancoyo, Bolivia. CF TN.C A |


droughts, frost, extreme winds, and even solar radiation due to its high elevation. The people living on this harsh plateau are mostly poor and often malnourished, isolated from large urban centres and with little access to fresh fruits and vegetables. It is, in short, a challenging place to live and feed yourself— though the perfect place to grow quinoa. Against this backdrop, the quinoa boom over the past decade—helped along by key strategic partnerships between fair trade companies and local producer organizations such as Bolivia’s National Association of Quinoa Producers (ANAPQUI)—has created a huge opportunity for the local economy. One major impact has been a much-needed rise in income (an increase from “essentially nothing,” as one report puts it). For producers living in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, local infrastructure, including housing, sanitary services, and farming equipment, has also improved, according to a UN report, as has access to education. These factors have helped ease the flow of people leaving the area—especially young people. And though the same report does find that quinoa consumption has declined in rural areas compared to a time when “families used to eat quinoa ‘three times a day, seven days a week,’” it concludes that “quinoa is still adequately consumed and the local diet is much more varied.” It also reports that, in fact, “local farmers say their food conditions have ‘improved, thanks to quinoa.’” Indeed, another study, this one from Bioversity International at the Bern School of Applied Sciences, found

that poor and middle-income Bolivian quinoa farmers eat more quinoa, on average, than higher-income farmers. If reduced quinoa consumption was truly driven by high costs, the poorest would be the most affected. Instead, at least among quinoa growers, the exact opposite is true. It turns out local people would prefer not to eat quinoa every single meal of the day, given the choice. Though chronic problems of malnutrition and poverty persist, quinoa exports have done much to improve the prospects of poor rural quinoa farmers and their communities. In fact, the chief challenge for local producers today is to make sure the boom becomes more than just a brief flash of relative prosperity.

The problem of erosion Traditionally, farmers in the southern Altiplano have maintained the viability of their marginal land by rotating crops, alternating between farming and animal fertilization (mostly with llama manure). Due to increased demands on the soil, however, these systems are breaking down. Erosion from higher-intensity farming has increased vulnerability to pests, leading to more pesticide use and more soil contamination. All told, intensive farming has become a real threat to the longterm viability of quinoa cultivation on the Altiplano. For this reason, it is vital that Western consumers buy quinoa that comes from producers using only the most sustainable farming practices. Buying Fairtrade-certified, organic quinoa is one of the best ways to make sure that’s the case, as Fairtrade standards prohibit the use of harmful chemicals and place a strong emphasis on soil protection. If we truly wish to help solve the problems of quinoa growers in the southern Altiplano region, we will not, as some have suggested, refrain from buying quinoa from Bolivia. Instead we will buy the right kind of quinoa, the kind that ensures farmers have the means to better their lives—and that centuries of patient cultivation don’t blow away into dust. Will Richter is a freelance writer living in Vancouver. His stories about tea and spices appear in past issues of Fair Trade Magazine.

Quinoa fields near the village of Ancoyo in the province of Oruro, on Bolivia's Altiplano Plateau. 1 2 | F A I R T R A D E M A G A Z I N E ¡ C A N A D A’ S V O I C E F O R S O C I A L S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y

Fairtrade a sustainable choice

For Fairtrade, this means building strong economies, healthy and just societies and living within the limits of what our environment can sustain. Whether it’s taking action to improve incomes, training farmers to be more resilient to climate change or enabling communities to invest in

education, Fairtrade empowers farmers and workers to face a range of economic, environmental and social challenges. Fairtrade is also about supporting and challenging businesses and governments to make trade fair and inspiring shoppers to think more about what they buy.




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growing change Baskets of dried argan fruit await processing.

How Fair Trade Cosmetics Benefit Women Producers BY GW EN R ICH A R DS A N D CH R IS N ICOL


itting cross-legged on the woven floor, with baskets of argan nuts by their sides, the women of the Tighanimine co-operative are concentrating on the task in front of them. One at a time, they crack the nuts between two well-worn stones to expose the prized kernels. These almond-shaped kernels will soon be pressed into golden argan oil that will be shipped across the globe to feed the cosmetic world’s appetite for the precious oil. For the women of this Moroccan cooperative, it is an opportunity to gain financial independence in a traditionally male-dominated society. For the women across the world who indulge in this nourishing oil, it is an

opportunity to choose a product that is healthy for their skin and healthy for the economies of the Moroccan communities who produce it.

The rising popularity of natural cosmetics Argan oil’s ability to naturally moisturize skin and hair has made it a sought after ingredient for cosmetics. Yet the argan oil trade makes up just a fragment of the massive global cosmetics industry, which is expected to reach US$460 billion by 2020. With consumers becoming increasingly conscious of what they are putting on their skin, the sales of natural CF TN.C A |


cosmetics have grown dramatically in recent years. Natural products make use of the beneficial ingredients found in nature rather than synthetic and chemical ingredients. Many of the raw ingredients used in these natural products, like coconut oil and shea butter, are produced in the global south, where poor working conditions and low wages are common. Fortunately, fairly traded versions of these ingredients are becoming more common in skin care products produced for mainstream audiences. Now all-female co-operatives like the argan

first hand in over 10 years of partnership with the same group of women. “Many women from communities in rural Ghana have to travel to urban areas to find work during the dry season, which is very difficult for the families who are left behind without a mother, and it’s very dangerous for the women,” says Heather Deeth, Vancouver-based buying manager for LUSH North America. Producing shea butter has brought women together, and the money they’ve earned has helped their community grow and develop. The women can afford to

The success stories of women in fair trade are just the beginning of what can be a beautiful relationship between consumers and producer communities

producers of Tighanimine are able to reach international customers and expand to new markets.

All-female co-operatives empowering communities For the UK-based cosmetic company LUSH, sourcing fair trade is a standard practice for many of its ingredients, including shea butter from Ghana. Like argan oil, shea butter is traditionally harvested and processed by groups of women. LUSH has witnessed the benefits of economic development

purchase food during the dry season and stay at home with their families rather than work in the city. In the global south, many women workers encounter discrimination, harassment, and cultural barriers that prevent them from having the opportunity to reach their full potential. On fair trade farms, women are able to become members of co-operatives. They can also vote and take more active roles within their organizations. Female members of Kuapa Kokoo, the largest Fairtrade-certified cocoa co-operative in the world and a cocoa butter supplier for the Body Shop, are among the successful examples of how fair trade can help build gender equality. More than 32 percent of the co-operative’s members are female, including the current president, Fatima Ali. The cooperative is also empowering women to take on new roles, like Delphin Ocran, who was elected society recorder, a position that earns her additional commission on every bag of cocoa sold.

Challenges for fair trade in the cosmetics industry

Once the fruit of an argan tree is dry, workers remove the pulp, extract the nuts, and carefully shell them by hand using a pair of stones.

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On a busy weekday evening, urban commuters pause to shop for groceries at a popular natural food store in downtown Vancouver. In the health and beauty aisle, rows of skin care products compete for attention. Among these

products are fair trade options—little jars of healing shea butter, tubes of lip balm, and sugar scrubs that offer locals the chance to choose a product that will make an impact for producers on the other side of the globe. In Canada, there are only seven companies registered with Fairtrade Canada that sell Fairtrade-certified cosmetics. Many of these companies are small and lack the necessary resources to enter direct relationships with fair trade cooperatives overseas. From our experience at Fable Naturals

Shop with confidence and conscience. Explore our broad selection of fair trade products, along with an

(one of the seven), we know that purchasing directly from producer groups often involves committing to large orders, organizing overseas shipping, and visiting the co-operatives. That’s what brought us to Morocco, where we witnessed skilled, difference-making women producing argan oil. A single cosmetics product requires multiple ingredients, many of which are not available from fair trade producers. For instance, rosehip oil is an extremely popular and effective ingredient for facial care, but there is no fair trade–certified version available. Consumer recognition and understanding of fair trade cosmetics is yet another hurdle when it comes to marketing skin care products. While ethically produced chocolate and coffee are easily recognized and understood by consumers, skin care is a relatively new category.

eclectic selection of ethically-sourced items, including pieces by local and Canadian producers and artisans. Boutique Canadian Museum for Human Rights 85 Israel Asper Way, Winnipeg # At C M HR

Connecting consumers Because women make the majority of cosmetics purchases, they have an opportunity to support women a world away through a simple purchase. The success stories of women in fair trade are just the beginning of what can be a beautiful relationship between consumers and producer communities. So go ahead, indulge in that bottle of fairly traded argan oil. Just remember that its benefits reach well beyond your skin. Gwen Richards and Chris Nicol are owners of Vancouver-based skin care company Fable Naturals. Gwen’s previous contribution to Fair Trade Magazine, “Fair Trade in a Divided Land,” appears in the Winter/Spring 2014 issue.



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Perfect Imperfection: Gifts with conscience BY K IM BER LY LEU NG

GIFT GIVING IS BIG BUSINESS. From new clothing to sweet treats, little trinkets to big-ticket electronics, special occasions are often marked with an exchange of gifts, a practice that's becoming increasingly commercial. According to Statistics Canada, the total value of toys, games, and hobby supplies purchased during the holiday season in 2014 was in excess of $416 million. The figure jumps to over $705 million once other popular gifts are included, like jewellery, watches, cosmetics, and perfume. It's no question that the act of exchanging gifts makes a huge economic impact, but it's also an area with significant potential to create beneficial change.



While mass-produced items are sold at low prices, there's often a human cost involved with these widely available, conventionally sourced goods, a cost that's not always obvious to the buyer. Hiding behind the price tag could be a product made under deplorable conditions. Ryan Jacobs, CEO of Ten Thousand Villages Canada, puts it in stark terms. “Global trade is largely

Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Ten Thousand Villages ensures that its products are sourced and made in a way that adheres to fair trade principles. It conducts a bi-annual self-assessment to review its operations in accordance to WFTO guidelines and communicates with artisan groups and other fair trade retailers to gather additional details on local operations.

artisans to preserve their traditional ways of life while earning a sustainable income.

Gifts with stories Fair trade gifts have the advantage of being one of a kind. A far cry from the factory-produced items frequently found on store shelves, handcrafted goods have distinctive and beautiful variations. As

Maasai artisans craft beaded jewellery outside Moshi, Tanzania.

faceless and nameless. You know that people were involved in making every item you own. But how often do you think about the circumstances under which these items were made? How often do you think about the opportunities available to makers? These makers deserve to be treated humanely and fairly.” Purchasing fair trade alternatives can help address this issue. As the oldest fair trade organization in North America and a member of the World

Jacobs has travelled to Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Colombia to personally connect with some of the people that Ten Thousand Villages works with. He has found talented, ambitious, and intelligent artisans, hampered by the lack of opportunities available to them. Working in over 25 countries, Ten Thousand Villages pays artisans fair prices and, alongside its partners, provides health services, work training, and free meals. This enables

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Robert McKinnon likes to say, the items are made to “perfect imperfection.” In 2007, McKinnon and his family travelled to Pucallpa, Peru, to visit the two girls the family had sponsored to attend school. What they found was a town without basic healthcare, access to education, and safely constructed homes for many of its people. The experience moved them to action. He and his wife Brigitte started the Pure Art Foundation soon after

their eye-opening family trip, with the purpose of undertaking humanitarian projects for this off-the-grid town. But they also understood that selfsufficiency was key to creating lasting change in this community. Finding talented artisans among the indigenous people of Pucallpa, the McKinnons commissioned an order and returned to Canada with beaded and

line to include jewellery made by the Maasai people, to support the clinic’s cervical cancer screening program. A member of the North American Fair Trade Federation (FTF), the Pure Art Boutique has undergone a strict screening process to demonstrate its 100 percent commitment to ethical trade. By partnering with other fair trade channels, the boutique has expanded its

that pay marginalized people a fair wage. An increase in demand for fair trade goods could make a serious impact and create a wave of change that might one day set a new, more humane standard for how conventional goods are produced. Ethical options exist for many popular gifts. For your next special occasion, whether it's a wedding, birthday, or the holidays, try skipping the trip to the local

For this Shipibo artisan, the intricate geometric patterns represent how she sees the creation of the universe.

Amalia, leader of a women's co-op, wears a traditional Shipibo headdress.

hand-stitched items to sell at fair trade value. The proceeds from their shop, the Pure Art Boutique, were used to support their foundation's initiatives in Peru, which now include building safe homes, funding school support programs, and providing vocational training. Later on, a chance encounter with a friend with ties to a rural medical clinic in Tanzania alerted them to the challenges of administering care in remote regions. In response, they expanded their product

selection to include items made in Tibet, the Philippines, and Brazil, to name a few. Each piece tells a different story, increasing awareness and exposing customers to artisan groups from all over the world.

Gifts that spur change Purchasing from stores offering fair trade and socially responsible items diverts money from conventional profitmaximizing businesses to agreements

shopping mall. Instead, devote some time to looking for thoughtful presents that are made and procured without exploitation. When you choose a fair trade gift, you are giving something that benefits both the receiver and those who produced the item. Kimberly Leung is a social services coordinator and freelance writer based in Toronto. She moonlights as a volunteer for several health and community non-profits. CF TN.C A |


Shipibo artisans from villages along the Ucayali River, Peru, work with Pure Art to create high-quality hand-embroidered textiles.

Finding Perfect Imperfection Fair trade items make great gifts. Check out the following sites offering

Fibres of Life |

ethical, sustainable, and handcrafted goods.

Offering custom handcrafted bags, pouches, hats, knitwear, and accessories, Fibres of Life works with small producers in Nepal to

Ten Thousand Villages |

make their colourful products available online or through a number of

With stores across the country and online, Ten Thousand Villages carries

Canadian retailers.

an array fair trade products—jewellery, home decor, and even rugs— helping ensure stable incomes for artisans in over 25 countries.

Wakami | As the Canadian distributor for Kiej de los Bosques, Wakami sells

Pure Art |

handmade fashion accessories through its online store and through

With the slogan “The Art of Shopping with a Purpose,” Pure Art sells fair

retailers across Canada. Its products include necklaces and bracelets

trade items from their flagship store in Hudson, Quebec, and from their

made by artisans in rural Guatemala.

website. Proceeds are used to fund their work in remote regions of Peru and Tanzania.

Looking for more? To find additional companies selling

Hamro Village |

fair trade items in Canada, visit

Hamro Village sells Himalayan jewellery, hand-hammered copper bowls, handmade-items

and felt and textile products, all of which are handcrafted, ethically

to check out CFTN's Handmade Buyers Guide

sourced, and help support the livelihoods of Nepali artisans.

featuring retailers that specialize in handmade clothing, artwork, and housewares.

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Together, with the Canadian Fair Trade Network and our Campus partners, Chartwells is working to achieve our common goal of building a just and sustainable food system. We are proud to support College and University Campuses across Canada in meeting their sustainability goals, and becoming a designated Fair Trade Campus is one such touchstone. We congratulate all our partner campuses on accomplishing and striving for this worthwhile target!




Armstrong Knitting Mills in Tirupur, India.

Fairtrade’s New Textile Standard: A new option for consumers BY ER IK JOH NSON


t’s easy to lose track of time in a shopping mall, a place where day and night are knit together under endless rows of fluorescent lights. Here the latest jeans, T-shirts, and sweaters have arrived from all over the world, displayed with a promise of affordable glamour. We the shoppers check tags, sip smoothies, and compare different shades of dyed cotton. We might wonder about the people who made these clothes and recall the horror stories that appear too often in the media. Of course, some brands claim that their manufacturing is sustainable, yet many of these initiatives seem like reactionary marketing efforts. How do we truly know which clothes aren’t produced in abusive work environments? This June, Fairtrade International launched its new textile standard with the ambitious goal of certifying the entire supply chain, from cotton seed to T-shirt. Once a company’s supply chain is certified, it can affix the Fairtrade Textile Mark to its clothing. The Textile Mark is a new label that shows consumers how a product complies with core aspects of the standard.

Complex issues require unique solutions Using its hired labour standard as a model, Fairtrade developed the new textile standard to address working conditions, wages, and labour rights for all stages of the supply chain. While Fairtrade-certified cotton has been available since 2004, the complexities of textile manufacturing demanded a rigorous process for creating the textile standard. “To develop the standard, Fairtrade International consulted extensively with stakeholders from more than 50

organizations throughout all stages of textile production: unions and worker representatives, other existing standard organizations, and experts in economics, politics, production, and distribution,” says Kirsten Cole, commercial relations manager at Fairtrade Canada. One notable feature is that brands are required to pay living wages within six years of adopting the standard. “Fairtrade and the multitude of stakeholders consulted in the development of the standard believe that this is a realistic approach to achieving the criteria, while also recognizing the challenging process,” says Cole. “Demanding that living wages are paid immediately would unfortunately result in many companies being uncompetitive, and in turn push them out of the market.”

Progress through long-term relationships Another important facet of the standard is that it requires brands to commit to long-term relationships with suppliers so they can offer similar commitments to workers. “It is important for ordering companies to act responsibly by means of fair and responsible purchasing practices and long-term contractual partnerships, which are essential for living wages to be reached and maintained,” says Cole. “To this end, the textile standard includes recommended purchasing practices for brands so they can build stronger partnerships with their suppliers.” Fairtrade plans to support brands that adopt the standard by educating workers about the textile program. It will also offer training to teach workers about their rights to receive

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living wages, form unions, and work in safe, healthy, and nondiscriminatory environments. Fairtrade sees this training as key to the success of the program—its ultimate goal is to see workers negotiate labour conditions independently. Because adoption of the textile standard is measured in stages, the Fairtrade Textile Mark will describe the criteria each product meets, essentially communicating where the brand is on its journey to paying living wages. As with all its standards, Fairtrade will review the program at regular intervals. “The textile industry is a highly challenging sector and we will continue to work to make sure we get it right,” says Cole.

Pratibha Cotton Farm, India

Is Fairtrade enough? Every day, labour violations occur in textile factories all over the world, whether they are in Cambodia, China, or Bangladesh—which was home to the most devastating garment industry accident yet: the collapse of Rana Plaza in Savar in April 2013, where 1,110 people lost their lives and thousands more were injured. In the wake of Rana Plaza, European and North American brands launched parallel initiatives to improve safety at Bangladeshi garment factories. The Accord on Building and Fire Safety in Bangladesh (Accord) and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance) were founded in response to the Rana Plaza disaster, yet neither addresses wages or the right to form unions, which are outlawed in Bangladesh’s export processing zones, the location of many of the nation’s garment factories. “Collective bargaining rights are one of the keys to solving the problems there,” says Andy Hira, SFU political science professor and co-author of a forthcoming book on post–Rana Plaza initiatives. “The Alliance and Accord have held training sessions and the ILO has set up a dialogue between the workers and the government and factory owners, but they are unwilling to take the extra step of saying ‘we actually want full union rights.’ They are really focused on the safety and they’re not saying anything about wages.” Hira recognizes that the Alliance and the Accord have potential to improve conditions at Bangladeshi factories, yet says that these solutions lack harmony and long-term considerations. “The problem with using an immediate media story, like Rana Plaza, is that it disappears after a while. So what we really need to do is develop consumer market segments, where dedicated, loyal consumers are looking for fair trade products.” Hira believes that once brands acknowledge a demand for fair trade apparel, they will respond. “If you can grow the

Chetna Organic, India

Armstrong Knitting Mills in Tirupur, India

consumer market segments for fair trade then that’s going to signal to retailers that this makes sense. Right now they are just going to pay lip service to it, so they don’t hurt their reputations.” “Fairtrade is a signal to long-term possibilities,” Hira says. “But you have to have the factory owners and the local government on board.” While Fairtrade International’s new textile standard doesn’t yet apply to Bangladesh or China—or any nation that limits the freedom of association, it does provide a clear way for consumers to choose an alternative with reliable assurances. And this alternative, if successful, will show brands that Canadians care about how their clothes are made. Erik Johnson is managing editor of Fair Trade Magazine.



Why the Textile Standard Matters TEXT A N D ILLUSTR ATION BY MIK E H A SLER


emlines rise and fall with each new season, yet the demand for fashion

steadily ascends. Last year, Canadians imported over $12 billion of manufactured clothing, an increase of almost 14 percent over 2014. Many of these clothes were made by workers who aren’t protected by labour laws. And even where labour laws exist, they often go unenforced. Take Cambodia, for example. The nation has legislated minimum wages and benefits, yet, according to a report published by Human Rights Watch, textile factory

to inspections. These unmarked warehouses are contracted to process

owners often circumvent these laws by hiring and rehiring workers on short-

surplus volume, but the fact they’re erected and managed in the shadows

term and casual contracts. These fixed-duration “agreements” (renewed

means they can become breeding grounds for additional labour abuses.

three months at a time and employed far past the two year maximum) can be cancelled anytime for any reason, keeping workers sewing at the edge of the employment abyss.

Strengthening garment industry workers through certification and education Fairtrade’s new textile standard addresses the complexities of the supply

Anti-union policies foster sub-standard labour conditions

chain as well as many of the heinous practices noted above. By making

In their mission to keep costs low, factory managers are enabled by

training and education inherent to certification, the standard aims to guide

the Cambodian government, whose byzantine requirements for union

and support workers so they can take control of their labour conditions.

formation discourage and stall most attempts to organize: While union

Among its many stipulations, the standard requires the registration of sub-

leaders navigate a web of red tape, they face dismissal and threats of

factories and subcontractors, and demands discrimination-free workplaces.

dismissal from factory owners and managers. When its bureaucracy drives

This has potential to benefit Cambodian women, who make up almost 92

workers to frustration, the government calls in the army. In January 2014,

percent of textile industry workers. The new standard includes clauses that

for example, industry-wide protests over low wages were quashed by the

protect pregnant women from termination—affording them the lighter

military and police. Without proper unions to protect them, workers are

duties they deserve until they leave for maternity and then ensuring their

often forced to work unpaid overtime and routinely forego lunch and breaks

leave is paid.

in order to meet unreasonable daily quotas.

Toward its goal of improving workers’ rights, wages, and labour conditions,

Many factories conceal their labour violations from third-party monitors,

Fairtrade provides training to enhance worker safety, productivity, and

like Better Factories Cambodia (BFC). On paper, the inspection system

efficiency. The new standard also requires worker representatives to

should work. It doesn’t. Arriving to assess conditions, inspectors are

participate in the auditing process and ensures workers receive education

often made to wait outside while underage workers are hidden beneath

about the textile program and the Fairtrade system.

giggling garment piles, lights and heat saved for such inspections suddenly shine and burn, and floor supervisors are slipped cash bonuses to report

Mike Hasler is a freelance graphic designer, musician, and writer working out of

favourable conditions.

coffee shops all over Metro Vancouver.

And these reports come from export-focused factories that have opted in to BFC’s program. Sub-factories without export licences aren’t subject 2 6 | F A I R T R A D E M A G A Z I N E ¡ C A N A D A’ S V O I C E F O R S O C I A L S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y

Introducing our Newest Fair Trade Granola Flavour ( in QuĂŠbec retailers only ) CF TN.C A |



Chocolate Two Ways: Delectable treats you can feel good about BY A M Y WOOD


’ve been touting the health benefits of chocolate for years. Ask any of my close co-workers: at one point or another I’ve most likely offered them a half-eaten bar of chocolate, saying, “It’s fine, it’s basically a health food.” And the best part is I’m not even lying. So long as it’s good quality dark chocolate that is. But I don’t always go for the dark chocolate. Sometimes I finish a bag of sour cream and onion chips in a single sitting. Other times it’s a tub of salted caramel ice cream. The point is my willpower is unreliable, and if given the chance, I might eat something I’m less than proud of. Which is why preparation is paramount to living a healthy, conscious life that includes eating healthy, Fairtrade-certified food whenever possible. The following are my go-to snacks to satisfy the chocolate fiend in me. You’ll notice both recipes use many of the same ingredients, thus cutting down on your grocery list. Plus, neither recipe takes longer than 10 minutes to prepare. The best part, though? They’re basically health foods.

Chocolate Chip Protein Power Bites If I’m craving a chocolate bar, I’ll force myself to instead whip up a batch of Chocolate Chip Protein Power Bites. They’re rich and smooth, like a ganache, but packed with protein and antioxidant-rich fair trade cocoa. 3–4 large Medjool dates, pitted 4 Tbsp natural peanut butter 1 Tbsp vegan protein (I use pumpkin seed protein) 1 Tbsp organic, fair trade cocoa powder 2 tsp chia seeds 1 Tbsp organic, fair trade cocoa nibs Add everything but the cocoa nibs into a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add cocoa nibs and pulse until incorporated but not fully blended. Take approximately 1 Tbsp of the mixture and press into a round-ish ball. Then use palms to roll into a compact ball. Place in fridge in an air-tight container. Makes between six and eight Power Bites.

Pro tip:

Double or even triple the recipe and freeze what you won’t eat in the coming week.

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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Shake When the dreamy combination of soft serve and Smarties calls my name, I hold my breath and power through the craving. This healthy alternative to your standard calorie-packed shake hits the spot but without the full-body garbage feeling. 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional) 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter 1 Tbsp organic, fair trade cocoa powder 4 ice cubes 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 2 tsp cocoa nibs In a blender, combine protein powder (if using), peanut butter, cocoa powder, ice, and almond milk and blend until smooth. Add cocoa nibs and pulse until just broken up but still chunky. Makes one shake. Amy Wood is a content marketer, blogger, and perpetual snacker. She loves fresh flowers and stretching. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @tgifriedeggs.

Pro tip:

Add a banana to turn this pseudo-shake into a full-blown smoothie (i.e., you can eat it for breakfast).



book review

Manifesto of the Poor: Solutions come from below By Francisco Van der Hoff Boersma Permanent Publications, 2014 64 pages, $10.99 ISBN: 978-1-85623-170-1 R E V IE W BY ER IK JOH NSON


reed takes on many forms. Expressions of want, familiar to us all, can be as simple as taking more than we need, more than our fair share. On a larger scale, greed is expressed by the systemic, uninhibited acquisition of property and wealth that has become, to varying degrees, inherent to our way of life. Francisco Van der Hoff Boersma, a scholar, priest, and farmer, has spent his life challenging one far-reaching expression of greed: capitalism. Manifesto of the Poor: Solutions from below captures the essence of this protest and proposes a new economic model to replace capitalism, which he calls “a monster of single-minded thought.” Manifesto also gives readers a snapshot of the author’s life. With doctorates in theology and political economy, Van der Hoff Boersma chose to become what he calls a “worker priest” and headed to the mines of Chile after a teaching stint at the University of Ottawa. In 1973, when the Allende government was overthrown, Van der Hoff Boersma fled to Mexico City and then to the mountains of Oaxaca to work with impoverished campesinos, small-scale coffee farmers, exploited by a supply chain that benefited middlemen and multinational roasters. For over 30 years, Van der Hoff Boersma has lived and worked

with the indigenous campesinos, farming the land, learning their ways, listening to their ideas and concerns, and sharing their stories. Van der Hoff Boersma witnessed the effects of greed on these marginalized producers—overlooked by a system in which they played essential roles. He realized that it was time that the system evolved, and he guided the campesinos as they organized into a co-operative to sell directly to buyers in the global north. In 1989, Van der Hoff Boersma co-founded Max Havlaar in the Netherlands, launching the first Fairtrade certification label. For the first time, the campesinos operated in a market built on inclusion and respect, allowing them to earn prices that covered production costs—and paid into social and environmental benefits for their community. Page after page, Manifesto asserts faith that fair trade can offer an alternative market where “volume and wealth are not the only motives.”

“We cannot trust the invisible hand.” While Van der Hoff Boersma’s critique of capitalism is bold and relentless, he hones in on one of its principle aspects: unlimited development. He labels it a “myth” and “the most harmful evil.” For Van der Hoff Boersma, the notion that any and all economic growth is beneficial ignores the finite nature of our world and overlooks the vulnerability of people and natural resources. He writes that “globalization and corporate relocation are new forms of colonialism” and sees international aid as an arrangement that objectifies the poor, a tacit apology for the inherent wrongs of the capitalist system. Throughout the book, Van der Hoff Boersma attributes the creation of fair trade to the global south. It’s a solution that hasn’t been forced upon producers by wealthy nations looking for forgiveness. Van der Hoff Boersma’s fair trade has never been about morals; rather, it’s about understanding and respecting another’s way of life. Manifesto depicts fair trade as a constructive force, one that “mobilizes the common sense and spirit of the poor.” Manifesto leaves readers with the hope that, with sweat and innovation, the present system can be supplanted by one based on respect and dignity, creating a market that serves “people and the environment, not the inverse. ” But what also lingers is the idea that our capacity for greed can also diminish. It happens when we, as individuals and communities, consider the effects of our actions on others, whether they live down the street or in the mountains of Oaxaca. Erik Johnson is managing editor of Fair Trade Magazine.

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Canadian Fair Trade Network RĂŠseau canadien du commerce ĂŠquitable

Photo by Len Wagg


Fair Trade Jewellery Co. 523 Parliament St. Toronto 647.430.8741

#madewithlove @ftjco


Fair Trade Magazine - Summer/Fall 2016 Edition  
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