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Friday, May 9, 2014

Issue of the Week: Join Milwaukee’s Fair Trade Crawl on Saturday

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Celebrate Fair Trade Day on Saturday, May 10, by participating in the seventh annual Greater Milwaukee Fair Trade Crawl from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s event will take place all over the metropolitan area, where more than 20 participating shops and cafés will offer Fair Trade tastings, prizes and music. Passports can be downloaded on the Milwaukee Fair Trade Coalition’s website (milwaukeefairtradecoalition.org), and visiting seven of the locations and noting their featured product will enable you to win a prize at the Riverwest Public House (815 E. Locust St.), which will host an after-party with live music, coffee, treats and more from 4-8 p.m.

Milwaukee is the first major Fair Trade City in the United States, and local coalition members launched the crawl to highlight diverse products produced in a socially responsible way, such as coffee, socks and other clothing items, tea, jewelry and more. The Fair Trade movement strives to create greater equity in international trade by promoting higher standards for workers’ rights, environmental protection and sustainability. Purchasing Fair Trade products helps to ensure that workers are being treated with respect and dignity. Every dollar you spend on a Fair Trade product has tangible results, according to Steve Watrous, the coalition’s cofounder and chair. 

“You can make a big difference with your shopping,” Watrous said. “I visited southern Mexico with a Fair Trade delegation last summer where we talked with the leader of a handcraft producer co-op. He said being part of the Fair Trade system meant that his children could go to school instead of having to work, that he could afford to fix his roof so it doesn't leak anymore, and that he could finally have some cream with his coffee.”

For more information about the Fair Trade Crawl, visit their website.