Fair Trade month

Fair Trade month concluded on Halloween night as members of Students for Peace and Global Justice disguised themselves as bananas and coffee sacks to hand out Fair Trade chocolate bars and information in the dorms. Fair Trade month, organized by SFPGJ, included a weekly film series, discussion groups, two panel discussions and the increased availability of Fair Trade certified products in the University dining halls. The farmer’s panel, co-sponsored by City Market and other University organizations, brought local eco-apple farmer, Barney Hodges, and Sylvia Arevalo, an Ecuadorian Banana farmer, to the University. Vermont State Rep. David Zuckerman, an organic farmer himself, and the Chair of the State Agriculture Committee, emceed the panel. Over one hundred people showed up for the event on Monday night. “We definitely got the word out and made our presence known,” SFPGJ Co-President of Lindsey Bryan said. Sodexho participated in Fair Trade week with their own events which included an increased availability of Fair Trade Bananas on campus and other products such as a Fair Trade cookie and banana smoothie. “We are pleased with the advancements Sodexho has made, but a lot more could be done,” SFPGJ Co-President Helaine Alon said. “We are not saying that Fair Trade is the end all be all, it is more complicated,” Alon said. “Fair Trade is able to bridge the gap between people who are interested in environmental and social justice issues as well as people interested in sustainable and profitable businesses. There is a market for Fair Trade products.” “There were always a lot of new faces,” Bryan said of the turnout. “We [SFPGJ] have quite a few new members that are really involved, I’ve been impressed,” she said.