State College Officially Declared a ‘Fair Trade Town’

by Daphne Weidner

Fair Trade Penn State is proud to announce State College’s official designation as a Fair Trade Town.  Fair Trade Penn State is a student-lead organization at Penn State University who work to widely increase the awareness, availability and use of Fair Trade products throughout the Penn State University Park campus and State College area, and is part of a nation-wide organizing effort called Fair Trade Towns USA.

The Fair Trade Towns USA campaign raises consumer awareness, increases the availability of Fair Trade products, and drives sales in order to help lift more than 1.2 million farming families out of poverty. To become an official Fair Trade Town, applicants must build retail availability and show that Fair Trade products are available in local stores as well as in institutions, like places of worship, schools and offices. Additionally, the town must have a vibrant coalition that meets regularly and plans interactive events that promote awareness, advocacy and engagement with Fair Trade. And, the city council must pass an official resolution in support of Fair Trade as an issue important to its government and residents, with plans to implement that support in concrete ways. These criteria are designed to empower citizens to develop a permanent platform in their communities for continued outreach and advocacy.

Fair Trade is an effort to empower consumers to vote with their dollars for fair prices, better working conditions, environmental stewardship, and brighter futures for the people who make the high-quality products that we buy every day.

Fair Trade Towns USA unites a diverse group of inspired Fair Trade activists and supporters, including project collaborators Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, the Fair Trade Federation, a North American trade association of organizations fully committed to Fair Trade, and the Fair Trade Resource Network, which gathers, develops, and disseminates educational resources to people and organizations interested in the movement. For more information, visit www.FairTradeTownsUSA.org.

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