How does securing a donation of fair trade bananas for the Media 5 Mile Race fulfill the purpose of alleviating poverty around the world, which is the goal of the Media Fair Trade Committee (officially America’s First Fair trade Town Committee)?  Fair trade farmers receive a higher price for their bananas, are guaranteed good wages, are able to send their children to school since they aren’t forced to work, give opportunities to women, have access to credit and receive a fair trade premium that they decide how to use to benefit their community. They might build a school, dig a well, buy an ambulance or send children away for higher education. It raises them up in so many ways and is not charity – it is just for us to be conscious consumers!

For the last several years, Martindale’s, a local health food store in Springfield, has been kind enough to arrange a donation from their produce distributor, Four Seasons, in Ephrata PA. The farmers still get paid and enjoy all the benefits of the fair trade system. Martindales has lots of fair trade foods and Four Seasons makes a point of sourcing fair trade as well. They are fantastic partners! We thank them.

In addition to educating the public and urging Media merchants and organizations to use and sell fair trade items and ingredients, and promoting them when they do, there is another opportunity we’d like to take advantage of. When Media is hosting events that may have food vendors, we’d like to ensure that they are sourcing ingredients from fair trade farms. Of course local farmers have some of the same challenges as small farmers in the Global South so we support them as well. Buy Fair, Buy Local! If you are putting on events or know of any that should participate, please let us know or ask them yourselves.