WELCOME to the Mankato Area Fair Trade Town Initiative
WELCOME to Mankato - the first Fair Trade Town in Minnesota (declared October 24, 2011)! - and to the work of the Mankato Area Fair Trade Town Initiative.
MAFTTI has, since June 2009, promoted Fair Trade in our part of the Minnesota River Valley, about 83 miles south-west of the Twin Cities. Our main focus has been on the major retail center of Mankato (40,000). MAFTTI also tries to engage those interested in Fair Trade in North Mankato (13,000) and St.Peter (11,000).
FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK 22-28 APRIL 2019
Have you ever wondered who made your clothes? How much they’re paid, what their lives are like?
Our clothes have gone on a long journey before they hit store shelves, passing through the hands of cotton farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewers and others. Approximately 75 million people work to make our clothes. 80% of them are women between the ages of 18 and 35.
However, the majority of the people who makes clothes for the global market live in poverty, unable to afford life’s basic necessities. Many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe and dirty conditions, with very little pay.
Fashion Revolution Week is our #whomademyclothes campaign in April, which happens at the time of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, where 1,138 people were killed and many more injured on 24th April 2013.
With more brands coming on board, it’s becoming even easier to choose Fair Trade throughout your wardrobe. Look for Fair Trade clothing next time you shop, or encourage someone else to choose Fair Trade for their next clothing purchase. Not sure where to find Fair Trade apparel? Take a look at Fair Trade USA’s shopping guide and Fair Trade Federation’s member list.
We use this week to encourage millions of people to ask brands ‘Who made my clothes’ and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Use your voice and your power to change the fashion industry.
Together we are stronger. Join the movement.
APRIL 22 is EARTH DAY
- Reduce your carbon footprint and take our Carbon Footprint Quiz.
- Use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products.
- Replace inefficient incandescent light bulbs with efficient CFLs or LEDs.
- Stop using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles, bags and straws.
- Recycle paper, plastic and glass.
- Donate your old clothes and home goods instead of throwing them out. When you need something, consider buying used items.
- Use cloth towels instead of paper ones.
- Set your office printer to print two-sided.
- Use reusable bottles for water, and reusable mugs for coffee.
- Bring reusable bags when you shop.
- Buy local food to reduce the distance from farm to fork. Buy straight from the farm, frequent your local farmers’ market, or join a local food co-op.
- Buy organic food to keep your body and the environment free of toxic pesticides. Support farmers and companies who use organic ingredients.
- Turn off and unplug electronics you’re not using. This includes turning off your computer at night.
- Turn off lights when you leave a room.
- Move your heater thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the summer to reduce your carbon footprint by 2,000 pounds.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater.
- Take a shorter shower and use a water-saving shower head.
Behind every luscious chocolate bar and treat we devour throughout the year, there are six million people globally who depend on growing cocoa for their livelihoods.
Cacao grows in a thin Equatorial band in places ranging from Hawaii to Papua New Guinea. The ideal climate for growing cocoa is hot, rainy, and tropical, with lush vegetation to provide shade for the cocoa trees. Over 60 percent of cacao, however, is grown in Ivory Coast and Ghana, cultivated by mostly smallholder farmers who grow the crop on plots of land averaging less than 5 hectares (12 acres) in size. Meet cocoa farmers in Côte d'Ivoire to find out more.
Although demand has been high, the price of cocoa beans has fallen in recent years. On average, cocoa-growing households earn $0.78 a day, less than one third of what the Fairtrade International defines as a living income of $2.51. Poverty, and its many related issues,is the key challenge faced by cocoa growing communities. Poverty is the chief cause of child labour According to the 2018 Cocoa Barometer, a report by 15 European non-profit organizations, as many as 2.1 million child labourers are working in West Africa alone. Watch The Dark Side of Chocolate to learn more.
“Until we address the poverty issue and raise farmers out of poverty, then this will continue to be a problem,” says Timothy McCoy, vice president of the World Cocoa Foundation, an industry-backed membership body.
According to the International Cocoa Organization, the world’s chocolate factory is the United States, headed by companies such as Mars, Incorporated (manufacturers of favorites including M&M’s, Snickers, and Dove); Mondelēz International (makers of Cadbury and Toblerone); and the Hershey Company (kiss, kiss). Look at the Chocolate Scorecard to see if your favorite brand’s commitment to sustainability and eliminating child labor.
Fairtrade works to make cocoa farming a more sustainable way to earn a living so that farmers can better support themselves and their families.
With Fairtrade sales, farmer cooperatives receive the Fairtrade Premium which they spend on improving quality and productivity of their farms, to increase incomes. Fairtrade is contributing to greater sustainability for cocoa farming in countries like Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire through payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and extra Fairtrade Premium.
See the Shopping List to see where you can buy Fair Trade Chocolate in Mankato. Around the country, here are brands to look for:
Alter Eco Foods
Endangered Species Chocolate
MAFTTI hosted their semi-annual Fair Trade Tea, May 6th, 2018 at Messiah Lutheran Church in North Mankato. Guests enjoyed a number of delicious treats made with Fair Trade ingredients including cucumber sandwiches, scones with lemon curd and Devonshire cream, brownies, lemon cookies and three kinds of Fair Trade tea. A fashion show featuring local Fair Trade fashions and recycled fashions from local thrift stores was and addition to this year's tea.
SCHOOL SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME AT GOOD COUNSEL
A DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT TO FAIR TRADE
THIS WILL GOVERN THE COMMUNITY'S POLICY
ABOUT THE USE OF FAIR TRADE ITEMS
IN FOOD SERVICE AND HOSPITALITY
HOW THE SISTERS UNDERSTAND FAIR TRADE
TO BE IN LINE WITH CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING
This picture features Good Counsel and MAFTTI leadership
with a special commemorative certificate