A series of events from today through Thursday are highlighting ways to alter commerce so that trade can empower, rather than exploit, the poor around the world. Each day a Fair Trade Marketplace in the Student Union will showcase products from around the world.
The tables are full of gorgeous, handmade items at affordable prices—all certified by one of the fair trade organizations that verify fair wages and safe working conditions. Co-ops of artisans within developing countries supply the goods, often made by women and sometimes providing the sole means of sustaining families, or in other cases, supplementing an income so children can go to school, eat better, have more adequate clothing.
Duquesne Campus Minister Kate Lecci says it’s not that hard to shop for fair trade items any day—Giant Eagle stores carry coffee, tea and chocolate; Whole Foods stores have bananas and blueberries. Fair trade items have symbols from one of the organizations that verifies fair practices.
Tuesday evening there will be a keynote speech by Jackie DeCarlo of Catholic Relief Services and a fair trade fashion show, and Wednesday there will be a documentary and discussion about conditions of migrant workers.