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Archive for : Labor

Fight Poverty This Passover with The Workmen’s Circle

This Passover season, the folks over at The Workmen’s Circle are honoring the holiday by fighting to end a modern day plague: working poverty.

The United States is home to 10 million people who fall into the category of working poor – folks who have jobs but who’s wages are so low, they cannot afford their basic needs. These families and individuals often have to choose between paying rent or going to the doctor, or buying groceries or paying their electric bill. No hard working person should have to make those choices.

Historically, The Workmen’s Circle has been at the forefront of the Jewish labor movement and a champion of workers’ rights. Now, they are fighting back against poverty by joining the Fight for $15 – a nationwide movement aimed at raising the minimum wage to at least $15.

On Wednesday, April 15, join them in a National Day of Action to help raise awareness about the struggles low wage workers face every day. They will meet at Columbus Circle in New York City and march together to Times Square. To find out more, check back to their Facebook page for more details.

Celebrate World Fair Trade Day

Fair trade. It is a term that gets thrown around a lot in eco and labor-savvy consumer circles, but what does it really mean? Find out by celebrating World Fair Trade Day!

In short, fair trade is about people and the planet, and about creating and consuming the products we love in ways that are fair to both. For farmers and manufacturers, that means getting paid a living wage for the work they do. Coffee, tea, and chocolate are likely the most widely-known fair trade products, but just about anything that is grown or made by people can be fairly traded: spices, produce, soaps, clothing, jewelry – even home goods.

On May 10, join 100,000 people around the United States and Canada for one of the largest fair trade events in the world! Help promote fair trade products and justice for farmers, workers, and artisans. Get started by learn more about fair trade at the video below. Then, join one of the great events happening all over the country event, or create your own!

Celebrate Fair Trade Month with Conscious Consumption…and Chocolate

It can be bitter-sweet, a bit nutty and you’ve probably craved its magic. But what if the next chocolate bar you ate could actually change the world? With fair trade products, that’s the idea.

Fair Trade Month, which began this October, raises awareness about products that are produced in an ethical manner. This means that they were made, traded, processed and packaged in a way that is economically sustainable for the farmer or craftsman, ecologically sustainable for the earth, and high quality for the consumer.

In other words, it’s a win, win (um, win) that puts both a face and integrity behind the product, and the power to do good in the hands of the consumer.

The Fair Trade movement began in the 1940s. It caught steam in the U.S. in the 1980s with products like coffee and cocoa beans, which don’t typically grow locally. Farmers were paid a living wage for their work and consumers had a direct link with the people growing their food. Since then, both the movement and the fair trade marketplace have grown. Today, there are many fair trade certifications on products (you’ve surely seen the sticker), and it’s now possible to find everything from fair trade tea, almonds, quinoa, bananas and olive oil to clothing and household goods.

How can you join the magic? One of the best ways to support the fair trade movement is to be a conscious consumer. Here are some ways to get started:

  • Buy chocolate from Equal Exchange, one of the pioneers of the fair trade movement.
  • Encourage your synagogue to purchase fair trade coffee and tea via Equal Exchange’s interfaith program.
  • Download the Fair Trade Finder App on your smart phone.
  • Host a Fair Trade products party to educate your friends or family about what fair trade is and how they can get involved.
  • Follow Fair Trade USA on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news.
  • Stock up for Hanukkah with Divine Chocolate’s fair trade gelt.

Hungry for more ideas? Check out TransFairUSA’s Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Fair Trade Month. Then, watch the video below to find out more about Fair Trade certification and how what you buy impacts you, farmers, and the world: