• Wood-carvers of Oaxaca
  • The UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 2016-2030
  • Mariana Cobos (in blue), Fair Trade banana producer in Ecuador

WELCOME to Mankato Fair Trade

  WELCOME to Mankato - the first Fair Trade Town in Minnesota (declared October 24, 2011)! - and to the work of Mankato Fair Trade.

MFT (formerly 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). MFT also tries to engage those interested in Fair Trade in North Mankato (13,000) and St.Peter (11,000). 

To read Mankato's Fair Trade journey, click here.


Fair Trade February


There is a way to show your Valentine that you not only care about them, but that you also care about people, the planet and the impact of your dollars.

If you’re thinking of buying your sweetheart flowers, try Sweet Alice https://sweetalicefloral.com, a sustainably focused, locally owned and operated flower shop in St. Peter, MN.  Read about some of their suppliers to see how they support women, farmers, and the environment: 
Rio Roses. https://www.rioroses.com/our-farms/.

Looking for chocolate for Valentines Day?  Look no further than our local stores.  HyVee, Cub, Aldi and Target all carry fair trade chocolate. Look for Equal Exchange, Chocolove, Bark Thins, Lily’s, Endangered Species, and Moser Roth at the grocery stores.

If sending a card, go for fair trade. We think these ones from Good Paper, a company helping victims of sex trafficking in the Philippines, send an especially positive message. Or purchase these handmade cards from CraftBoat in India or Umoja Group in Malawi. CraftBoat cards are crafted from cotton scraps recycled from the fashion industry. Umoja Group uses recycled paper and textiles for their cards.



As we start 2021, we, at Mankato Fair Trade, 
wish you a happy, healthy, and hopeful New Year!


Only 20 percent of New Year's resolutions are successful and there can be a lot of reasons why. Whatever the problem, here are some practical ways to start small, and to make some common resolutions a reality-- the fair trade way. 


Eat healthier

We know, easier said than done! Here are just a few ways you can eat healthier without sacrificing flavor.

Take that chicken breast, baked potato or broccoli up a notch with exotic, all-natural fair trade spices or sauces from South Africa. Choose from over a dozen popular spices and best hot sauce flavors from SERRV. Each one creates employment for marginalized workers in South Africa.

Switch out your vegetable oil for organic olive oil. Mayo Clinic says small amounts of healthy fats (like those found in olive oil) help lower your risk of heart disease by lowering your bad cholesterol. These organic olive oils create peace between Israeli and Palestinian women in Israel. 


You can enjoy dessert and stay healthy. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and flavanols, and is believed to reduce the risk of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.Check out the range of fair trade chocolate at Cub, Hy-Vee and Aldi.


Get Organized

Clutter can be overwhelming, and the New Year is the perfect time to reorganize. Invest in a handmade fair trade woven basket - they're colorful, come in every shape and size, and instantly clean up any space in your home. Plus you'll be employing rural basket weavers from Bangladesh to Uganda.


Help the Planet

We all want (and need) to reduce, reuse, and recycle. With many commercial businesses closed, curbside recycling is important now more than ever. Cans and cardboard are needed for new containers, boxes and paper, plastic needs to stay out of landfills.


Food products and medical supplies all arrive to their destination in boxes. The majority of materials used to make boxes are from mixed paper and old corrugated cardboard (OCC) from recyclers. 


During this time there has been a higher demand for everyday canned foods, beverages and disinfectant products. Can manufacturers need to be able to continue manufacturing containers that supply quality food and sanitizing products to American consumers. New food cans are made using 25% recycled steel cans and beverage containers use 73% recycled aluminum.


Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles every year. Only about 25% of the plastic produced in the U.S. is recycled. If we recycled the other 75% we could save 1 billion gallons of oil and 44 million cubic yards of landfill space annually.


See what artisans make from recycled and green materials. You can decorate your home, garden, and yourself with these great items from SERRV.


Supporting your New Year's resolutions through a fair trade purchase will help artisans worldwide, providing them with fair wages, employment, and the opportunity to build better lives.


And Finally…Unplug

Entertain your brain with a handmade puzzle or game.Shop here for entertaining games and puzzles made by artisans worlwide.


If you've married your smartphone and can't think of life apart, try a mini-break.

Instead of browsing the web for hours, consider creating your own book collection, and leafing through one or two of them the old-fashioned way. Here are a few suggestions:


"Becoming Better Grownups", the new book by Brad Montague is the result of two years of interviewing kids from over 50 elementary schools all over America, to get their wisdom on where we grownups might miss the mark.


"The Book of Joy", a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams acting as 'narrator.' The conversation took place when Bishop Tutu went to visit the Dalai Lama for a week at his ashram on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday. They share their beliefs on how to be joyful in a world that can be undeniably painful, as formed by both their faith traditions and their difficult life experiences.


"American Dirt" is a stunning book about immigration. It's the story of a fearless Mexican mother who flees her home in search of safety for her son on the other side of the border. It makes the realities of our COVID isolation seem like a privilege. If modern fiction with a political POV is your thing, this book is a gorgeous read.”


"The Kindest Lie" by Nancy Johnson for quite some time! This one is set in 2008 and examines thedivide between black and white communities.

 If you missed our live Holiday Show,
you can view it here:
Mankato Fair Trade Holiday Show

Participating Businesses:  
New Ulm's Own
Sticks & Stones
Global Mamas
Fair Chic Jewelry
Beans Coffee
Ten Thousand Vllages
St. Peter Food Coop


Food Justice


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
 Martin Luther King Jr.

multi colored hands