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Monday, July 13, 2009

Fair trade

James posted this article on a note on Facebook earlier this year. I have been coming back to this fair trade concept a lot in my mind. Being your average greedy American I always think I am entitled to the lowest price. Long live The Market, right? But really what about those people who are making these things we buy at Wal-Mart in Chinese sweat shops, farmers who get a tiny fraction of our $3 cups of “premium” coffees, and Palestinians who deal with so much to try and make their living in their ever-temporary homes? Do we care? Should we? That’s up to you. And regardless of what or if you think of the politics of the Middle East, the fact remains there is a humanitarian situation that we could be helping by buying olive oil, olive oil soap, spices, etc.

This might explain better:

North American Fair Trade for Peace in the Middle East

Will it be as popular as the coffee? I don't know why it isn't yet- Rachel Ray talks about EVOO all the time, Italian places do the olive oil and bread thing (if they served zaatar with the olive oil, it'd be way better, but I digress), olive oil is considered trendy and healthy these days. Add fair trade into the mix and I can't figure out why you can't pick it up at at least one place around here. I would think Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Asheville, etc would be all over this.

As far as locally, this is the one thing I’ve found. I don’t know what they sell from these countries, but they mention fair trade and Egypt and the West Bank. If it’s the same as World Market, I think I’ve been, but still don’t know what was from the West Bank, and if not, then I haven’t been at all. - Egypt and West Bank, among other 3rd world locations
* Sarasota, FL
* Cumming, GA
* Greenville Crossing, DE
* Atlanta, GA - Perimeter Place
919-929-8022 | Eastgate Shopping Center1800 East Franklin St Chapel Hill, NC
(919) 286-2457 | One World Market811 9th Street Suite 100 Durham, NC

This sums up the regions’ organizations::

North America - * * * *

Europe -

Middle East - * *

These are various organizations I found:

Canaan Fair Trade, 5218 Shorecrest Dr., Middleton , WI 53562, phone: (608)831-0707, fax: (608)821-0790, National distributor of fair trade products from Palestine, specializing in olive oil. All products are certified by the Palestine Fair Trade Association

Friendship and Peace Society Embroidery Project, PO Box 275, Point Arena, CA 95468; phone and fax: (941)922-7657; email: Markets beautiful cross-stitch embroidery made by poor Palestine women who are the sole support of their families. Featuring: pillows, jackets, shawls, wall hangings, dresses, etc.

Holy Land Olive Oil; 2930 Domingo Ave., #122, Berkeley, CA 94705; phone: (510)830-8804; fax: (206)203-0515; Startup business rooted in an all volunteer effort to help farmers in Palestine. Importer of Extra Virgin olive oil from Palestine.

-- USA, MA
-- USA, MA

Hadeel, St. George's West Church
58 Shandwick Place
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Along the same lines, I wrote this awhile back. Not too long ago. And I don't think it was on this site. I'm not exactly the go-getter type, but I think from time to time about stuff like this or getting something going. Petitioning the government is certainly (or seems so) one way to influence policy, but if Americans are talking to Palestinians and start to see them as people with perhaps more in common with themselves than they think (rather than The Others, terrorists, etc), maybe this will make people re-think the "Israel's way or the highway" mentality that holds us captive and causes common sense to escape us.

Here goes:
I have heard of (and have been inspired by) various efforts lately to aid Palestine like Galloway's convoy, Kite Gang (NPR), Gaza Surf Relief, etc:,
(edit 7/2009- A convoy actually left the US on July 4 and went to Gaza July 13)
( ), , ,

various programs among elementary students/schools from the US and Palestine exchanging letters, pictures, goodies, etc (why don't cities or peace groups in the two areas do the same sorts of things?)
*Facebook comments about Flat Stanleys around that time kind of re-inspired that one. I thought- what ifFlat Stanley went to a Free Gaza event or protest...

and even (go figure!)


And with that, I'm all brainstormed out. Maybe something will come of it one day. If not from me, then from someone reading this. I feel less cluttered having put all this on "paper", so I guess I've accomplished something.

1 comment:

  1. I am still new in educating myself on all of this. Does my desire for lower prices so I can buy more fit the golden rule? Not if it robs others of a fair price and if it perpetuates a slave cycle.

    I have been intimidated to talk about it in the church because so many seem to express the sentiment "Well, we cant save the world. we are supposed to preach the gospel." and, it is kind of left at that. i want to educate myself more about this before I really start pushing the issue more.

    Tabbetha and I have been simplifying our lives a bit more to allow for change. The proper motives helps makes the change a joy instead of a burden. The links appear to be helpful. I cant wait to check them out. Thanks, Jennifer!