Get involved in Fair Trade Week

MPIRG will be highlighting the importance of Fair Trade this week.

Fair trade is sometimes dismissed, along with those wider concepts of aid and charity. Some will say they are make-believe solutions to unsolvable problems. YouâÄôre told that youâÄôre naive if you think that buying a different brand of coffee is going to help anyone. These statements are untrue, and create a sense of inability and apathy among those whose consciences itch.

We need to be reconnected to those ideals and see ourselves as invaluable people engaged in a meaningful process. Fair trade is more than a safety net for farmers in need. The fair trade label is a guarantee that we contribute to more than just another anonymous CEOâÄôs salary.

More than a million human beings benefit from fair trade. A simple act of selection in the supermarket can help to empower the most neglected and alienated people among us. And that same selection is noted by the market, which will respond to a demand for better working conditions.

Fair Trade Week is about shining the spotlight on an ongoing global crisis. ItâÄôs about taking another look at growth and a better approach to development. It doesnâÄôt teach us as much as it reminds us that we can make a subtle difference.

The Minnesota Public Interest Research Group takes one of many approaches to the problems everyday people face. We want to show you what fair trade is in action and this week we will demonstrate its importance. WeâÄôre engaging with the community and raising public awareness in an effort to make a difference.

MPIRG believes in collective action and working for the common good. Fair Trade Week is an initiative that reflects these values âÄî itâÄôs the book you can judge by its title, so to speak. We encourage all students this week to join MPIRG for Fair Trade Week.