A Fair trade Valentine’s Day: Made with Love

Courtney Lang February 7, 2010
Make this a Fair Trade Valentine's Day

Make this a Fair Trade Valentine's Day

By Guest Blogger Jamie Guzzi

Valentine’s Day is a great time of year to highlight the benefits and availability of Fair Trade products like flowers, chocolate, jewelry and wine. When buying gifts for your sweetheart, we hope everyone will choose Fair Trade and encourage their friends, family and supporters to do the same.

It’s also a great time of year to reach out to teachers, educators and youth. As outreach to schools and churches is a big part of the Fair Trade Towns criteria, Valentine’s Day provides a fun and educational hook for you to contact any teachers you know and encourage them to do a lesson on Fair Trade.

This year, Global Exchange is hosting a National Valentine’s Day of Action to encourage folks to pass along their curriculum to any teachers or educators they know and is offering prizes for those who do so. We want to invite everyone to participate and also consider passing along other educational resources like TransFair USA’s Focus on Fair Trade curriculum. A complete list of educational materials and resources for teachers can be found at the Fair Trade Resource Network homepage.

Looking for other ways to raise the profile of your campaign this Valentine’s Day? Why not host a Fair Trade fundraiser? In the past, Fair Trade Towns groups have used the occasion to host fundraising dinners featuring Fair Trade Certified wine, chocolate, flowers and ingredients. Last year the Chico Fair Trade campaign hosted a Middle East Romance dinner to raise money for their campaign and handed out Fair Trade Certified flowers and chocolate samples to attendees. This year, the team in Media is planning something similar.

America’s First Fair Trade Town Committee will be hosting a Valentine’s Day dinner at a sustainability-focused restaurant which has been part of their steering committee from the beginning. The plan is to invite members of their steering committee to enjoy a special menu for the occasion consisting of local, organic and Fair Trade ingredients. “The event will feature Fair Trade wine and chocolate as well” says Media organizer Barbara Bole, “and should provide a great opportunity to bring both new members and new Fair Trade products to the table.”

Looking to plan your own event, perhaps with Fair Trade Certified wine? Kristina Horner of Prestige Wine Group, importers of Fair Trade Certified Fairhills wine, is hard at work organizing wine tastings and promotions around the country and would gladly help your group set something up with a local supermarket or restaurant.

“If you are doing an event or fundraiser we can put you in touch with a distributor who can come out and do a wine tasting for you,” Kristina said on our last Fair Trade Towns conference call, “The distributor is the best person to work with both in terms of serving and permitting as well as forming a relationship with the store or restaurant.” Feel free to email Kristina for advice in setting up a tasting event: khorner@prestigewinegroup.com

No matter what your group decides to do, we hope you all have a wonderful Fair Trade Valentine’s Day and stay tuned for more updates throughout the month. For more information on where you can buy Fair Trade Certified flowers chocolate and wine this Valentine’s Day please visit: http://www.transfairusa.org/content/WhereToBuy/

You must log in to join the discussion. If you are not already a member registering is easy.

Courtney Lang, National Organizer | Fair Trade Campaigns

Courtney Lang brings over 5 years of community organizing to Fair Trade Towns USA, building both the Local Food and Fair Trade networks in Vermont. As Local Food Coordinator with City Market/Onion River Cooperative, Courtney worked with local producers, institutions and consumers to grow the local food system and organize a strategic model for community engagement through farm tours, workshops, and local food challenges. Like many in the Fair Trade industry, Courtney was inspired to take action in Fair Trade when she witnessed child-labor first hand in Costa Rica. As a founding member of Fair Trade Burlington, she has worked with economic development organizations, businesses, and consumers to build awareness of Fair Trade among Vermonters. She also worked with a Fair Trade USA licensee, Vermont Coffee Company, as Friend Ambassador where she united the story of Fair Trade to every purchase of coffee.