I went cuckoo for chocolate (and everything else) at the Fair Trade Open Air Market on May 1 held by San Diego Friends of Fair Trade on a lovely sunny day. Fair trade seeks greater equity in international trade, based on fair compensation and working conditions, dialogue with growers and producers, sustainable development, and related principles.
The event was eco friendly shopping bliss. The samples of chocolate by Alter Eco were amazing — mostly organic, all fair trade and vegan. Those which contained 85% cacao gave me serious energy for hours.
For people who prefer coffee for that buzz, Cafe Virtuoso was there with certified organic coffees. The Tomorrow Project handed out samples of scones, vegan curry confetti soup, and pasta. Their packaged soups, rice mixes and other retail products are mostly vegan and are made by homeless women living in shelters who must pass certain requirements to be part of the project. I am impressed by such an all-around productive business.
Several organizations were vending goods from Africa and other countries in need of support. The jewelry by Acholi Beads from Uganda is especially eye-catching. Women who fled war in northern Uganda use recycled paper to create the beautiful jewelry (hint hint – will blog in exchange for one of those necklaces). NuIntentions was also there with jewelry to empower displaced women in Uganda, and Invisible Children had a table — the organization whose powerful film on Uganda’s child soldiers started my passionate career path with African refugees.
Eco friendly shopping is the way to go – and through these fair trade companies and others, you’ll find handbags, hot cocoa, cherries, bracelets and beyond, all while supporting such an important global cause.