Fair Trade Information

Chapter Position

Fair Trade is an alternative system of trade which focuses on fair compensation, proper working conditions, sustainable agriculture and local economic growth.
Fair trade as an idea and movement relies on a few assumptions:
As consumers, people can raise demand for more fairer products and demonstrate popular support and thus demonstrate that there is business sense in producing fairly
People can overcome consumerism and see past the products they are purchasing to the people and places that produced them (simply making fair trade a brand will not move us closer to fairness).
The goal of Fair Trade is to have consumers think not only about the price, quality, and branding of the products they are buying, but to consider also the realities on the production side of that product. Addressing this great separation between consumers and where their stuff comes from and goes to when it's used, and in general the disconnect between our own perceptions of the world and what's really going on in all corners of the world, is central to tackling the apathy and powerlessness that plagues developed society and allows us to leave much of humankind suffering needlessly.

Fair Trade Waterloo Campaign

Fair Trade Waterloo (FTW) is a community project to promote knowledge and action around trade justice issues. The goal is to get the City of Waterloo recognized by FairTrade Canada as a Fair Trade Town. A Fair Trade Town is one that has abundant availability of fair trade products, town council support, a steering committee, events and media coverage around fair trade, fair trade use by community organizations, and active support of other ethical consumption initiatives (local, organic, handmade, freecycling, etc). FTW is about making informed empowered global citizens, changing our mindsets when we go to the store, and supporting sustainable, community-led development overseas. To get involved in the FTW campaign contact Ian Murray at strategy@uwaterloo.ewb.ca.

Campus Fair Trade Retailers

University of Waterloo Campus:

  • a: Eye Opener (Coffee)
  • b: BMH Coffee Shop (Coffee)
  • c: Brubakers (Coffee)
  • d: Turnkey Desk (Coffee, Tea)
  • e: Math C&D (Coffee, Tea)
  • f: CEIT Cafe (Coffee)
  • g: Pastry Plus (Coffee)
  • h: ML Coffee Shop (Coffee)
  • i: ES C&D (Coffee)
  • j: Grad House (Coffee, Tea, Wine)
  • k: Engineering C&D (Coffee)
  • l: PAS Lounge (Coffee)
  • m: Conrad Grebel Cafeteria (Coffee)
  • n: Science C&D (Coffee)

Kitchener - Waterloo Region:

  • Ten Thousand Villages (Handmade Goods, coffee, tea, sugar and spices)
  • More Than Half (clothing and shoes) - 8 King Street East, Kitchener
  • Seven Shores (Handmade Goods)
  • Cafe 1812 (Coffee and Tea)
  • Eating Well Organically (Coffee, Tea, Chocolate)
  • Vincenzos (Coffee)
  • Eating Well Organically (Coffee)
  • Starbucks (1 Brand of Coffee is Fair Trade)
  • Timothy's (Coffee)
  • Zehrs (Coffee and Tea varieties)
  • Sobey's (Coffee and Tea varieties)

Resources for more information:
Wikipedia's fair trade article gives a nice overview of the fair trade movement.
Transfair Canada certifies Canadian importers as abiding by Fair Trade practices and educates the public about Fair Trade.
Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International develops international Fair Trade standards and unites the various certification bodies (such as Transfair) around the world.
EWB's National Bibliotheque offers some great resources on Fair Trade! (You may need to become a member to read some of these).