IRTF Fair Trade Sale at the
2019 Cleveland VegFest at Huntington Convention Center
A kind and generous friend is covering our exhibitor fee, so this year IRTF will have a table at the VegFest! This is an exciting opportunity to promote Fair Trade to an anticipated 13,000 attendees.
Can you help promote fair trade for a couple of hours on May 18? If so, please see the schedule of shifts for VegFest on May 18 below.
Saturday, May 18, 2019 – VegFest, Cleveland Convention Center
6-8pm (includes help with taking down the booth):
About IRTF fair trade
IRTF works towards justice and equity in the distribution, access to, and participation in the production and consumption of the world’s resources for the people of Central America and Colombia. The conventional trade model is accelerating a race to the bottom that hurts workers, consumers, and the environment. Moreover, it further divides us into “haves” and “have nots.” As an alternative model, fair trade sets a series of standards to ensure fair wages and human dignity for producers, community investment, environmental sustainability, and more.
IRTF’s fair trade program generates thousands of dollars in much needed income for artisans and farmers in Latin America. This happens through the generous invitations of schools, community groups, and congregations that offer us table space at 40-50 events each year. Fair trade is an important part of IRTF’s human rights mission: to call together people in NE Ohio to walk in solidarity with oppressed peoples of Central America and Colombia to achieve peace, justice, human rights and systemic transformation through nonviolence.
IRTF Fair Trade Outreach & Sales Tables:
-support the growth of fair trade cooperatives as an alternative economic model
-promote community-to-cooperative relationships between NE Ohio and Latin America
-educate NE Ohioans on policy questions that impact local economies in Ohio, Central America, Mexico and Colombia
About some of IRTF’s fair trade products
The items that IRTF sells are handcrafted by worker-owners of fair trade cooperatives in southern Mexico (Nahua people of Guerrero), Central America and Colombia.
Here is a sampling of some of the products:
Colombia (tagua jewelry, wire yarn animals)
El Salvador (coconut shell jewelry, painted wood products, crocheted purses)
Guatemala (beaded key chains, ornaments, earrings, headbands; wallets, handbags)
Mexico (silver jewelry)
Honduras (some earrings)
The cooperatives are small businesses, worker-owned, mostly by women. They set their own hours and working conditions. Most importantly, they pay themselves a living wage (in the local context), but still live in poverty.
Because they earn a living wage, their children don’t have to drop out of school to help support the family. So fair trade is also helping the next generation as well.
By selling handmade crafts, we highlight the importance of fair trade as a just alternative to corporate-led globalization, which is shutting out small producers.
Price range of items
$4-10: small clay bobble-head animals, wire yarn animals, hacky sacks, finger puppets, beaded key chains, beaded holiday ornaments, friendship bracelets, snap leather bracelets, barrettes, wallets
$10-20: wallets, small purses, handbags, coconut shell earrings, silver earrings, silver bracelets, silver rings, novelty items (e.g., Minions)
$20-30: wallets, purses, handbags, laptop covers
$30-40: purses, handbags, messenger bags