Friday, December 06, 2013

Mindful Christmas Shopping (Part 2): Fair Trade, Just Market for the Holidays

In an earlier post, I linked to gift catalogs from Oxfam and Heifer International, which offered presents that helped poor communities overseas. There is another option this Christmas for people of conscience who want to make a difference: purchase fair trade products.

Ten Thousand Villages: One of the first places that comes to mind is Ten Thousand Villages. You can purchase online or through a local store (if there is one your community).  We don't have a Ten Thousand Villages Store in Albuquerque, but there is one 60 miles to the north in Santa Fe.

Catholic Relief Services: Another great option is the Catholic Relief Services, which offers a variety of fair trade products from partner organizations.  Here is what CRS says about chocolate:  Show your solidarity with small family farmers abroad!  Whether you’re a fan of  milk, mint, toffee, nut, caramel or milk chocolate, you’ll find what you’re looking for from our partners. Fair Trade isn’t only about paying a fair price to producers; it’s also about honoring the care they put into their crops by producing high quality products.

By the way, CRS also has a gift catalog available, similar to the ones offered by Heifer and Oxfam, where you can directly help poor communities overseas.

Fair Trade USA: Fair Trade USA also has a catalog with a list of products and partners. Here is what the organization says about the purchase of fair-trade apparel. Americans buy more clothing than any other nation in the world, so let's make every purchase matter! The Fair Trade Certified Apparel and Home Goods program is the first of its kind, enabling consumers to consider the social, economic and environmental bottom line when they shop.

The Christmas season also goes beyond purchasing presents for loved ones. Many people take time to prepare baked goods. So why not use use fair trade ingredients?  Looking for ideas? There are plenty in the 
Fair Trade Recipe Blog.  But it's not just baked goods. How about fair trade cocktails.  Here's a description of the Fairly Modest Mule: What better way to celebrate the Holidays than by sipping on a Fair Trade cocktail? This recipe come to us from our friends FAIR. Spirits, a company dedicated to high quality ingredients that are sourced ethically and sustainably. FAIR. Quinoa Vodka is a one-of-a-kind spirit made with Fair Trade quinoa from Bolivia and expertly distilled in France.

Just Market in Downtown Albuquerque
Finally, I'd like to highlight a great event in Albuquerque, sponsored by the Justice and Life Ministry at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. There will be local and fair trade crafts, nativities, art and olive oil!  The Christmas Just Market will take place at the adjacent St. Mary's Gym, 8:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m.  More details in the poster below.

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