We vote with our money
Originally uploaded by foutugraphe
October is fair trade month! Here in Los Angeles, we welcomed the month during the Just Lives Festival at the Hollywood Farmers' Market on Sunday. Green LA Girl posted some great photos and summary of the day. It was a wonderful time to connect with people who are passionate about fair trade. I was pleasantly surprised by people's familiarity with the farm bill! Many people wrote letters to their senators and signed postcards about broad reform of the bill.
TransFair USA is
hosting a video contest! Contestants are encouraged to create a 5
minute video about how they interact with fair trade. The winner will
get a chance to fly to Peru and connect with fair trade producers
there. Check it out.
The NY Times featured an article about fair trade - Fair Trade in Bloom. It discusses the rise in popularity of fair trade goods and tells the story of a few farmers who benefit from fair trade certification. A must read!
A few years ago, I heard a saying that dramatically influenced my consumer decisions - "We vote with our money." It required me to think more critically about where I spend my money and who benefits from those purchases. It is hard for us to see the personal as political. Our individualistic American culture tells us that what we do in the privacy of our own homes (wallets) does not impact the greater community. Yet, when we choose buy goods from local farms, small businesses, co-ops, we say yes to community. We affirm fair wages, fair working conditions and local systems of commerce and trade. Better yet, we can choose to NOT consume and (gasp!) share with each other. Now there's a radical idea!
We are slaves in the sense that we depend for our daily survival upon an expand-or-expire agro-industrial empire—a crackpot machine—that the specialists cannot comprehend and the managers cannot manage. Which is, furthermore, devouring world resources at an exponential rate. We are, most of us, dependent employees" quote by Edward Abbey in A Few Words in Favor of Edward Abbey" by Wendell Berry
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