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.

 


Planet Fair Trade

Join Mankato Fair Trade in celebrating Fair Trade Day with our video


Fashion Revolution
 
On the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more in 2013, we encourage millions of people to come together to campaign for systemic change in the fashion industry.

This year, Fashion Revolution has many virtual events:

Fair Trade DePaul is raising awareness about ethical fashion for Fashion Revolution Day on April 24th. Elizabeth Cline, bestselling author of Overdressed and The Conscious Closet will be speaking.

The Fair Trade Federation will host a giveaway and an Instagram live next Wednesday, April 22 at 2 PM ET to kick off the showcase.

Fashion Revolution.org will be streaming an exciting lineup of virtual events for Fashion Revolution Week, making their global schedule now accessible to participants around the world. From Fashion Open Studio workshops and talks to the annual Fashion Question Time panel, register for a week’s worth of educational and creative experiences here.


How Fair Trade USA is responding 

to COVID-19 

OAKLAND, Calif., April 13, 2020 /3BL Media/ – Fair Trade USA®, the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America, released a new policy on emergency fund use for Covid-19. It outlines direct action to support farmers, workers, and fishers with health, safety, and financial measures as they cope with the global pandemic.

Most critically, the Fair Trade USA has increased the flexibility of the use of Fair Trade Community Development Funds to enable workers to use them more immediately to address their critical needs. These funds, which are earned on top of workers’ wages, are made possible through the sales of Fair Trade Certified goods. Workers organize democratically and vote to use the money on projects of their choosing to improve their communities’ infrastructure, productivity, health, and/or livelihoods.

To support, Fair Trade USA conducted interviews with more than 80 producer groups at the start of the pandemic to better understand their needs. A key finding in this research was the spread of misinformation about the virus, especially in indigenous communities. To mobilize in the near-term, Fair Trade USA’s Producer Services team is leveraging new technology to quickly deliver audiovisual physical distancing, sanitation and hygiene, and mental health training and information to workers, prioritizing this content in indigenous languages.

The organization also compiled and shared usable resources from its findings across producer groups, including Covid-19 prevention content, sanitary protocols, social distancing best practices, and other preventative measures. An additional survey is also underway to more than 200 fair trade Certificate Holders to better understand the overarching impact of Covid-19 on workers.

Examples of How Community Development Funds are Being Used to Support Covid-19 Relief:

  • A farm in U.S. is offering incentive pay to workers who follow social distancing protocols. They are paying for more shuttle buses to transport workers to and from their jobs so there is less crowding.
  • A garment factory in India has a paid full salary to all workers one week in advance of normal time. Its ‘Fair Price Shop’ is helping the community access daily needs while supplies are rationed or disrupted and its clinic in the factory continues to serve employees and take care of minor ailments, easing the burden on large hospitals.
  • Garment factories in China are providing free masks and hand sanitizer and implementing strict guidelines around distancing, especially during lunch. Some are doing temperature checks every day and still paying workers who are not able to come into work.
  • Coconut farms in the Philippines are providing staple foods like rice, veggies, fish, chicken to farms that are most remote, and therefore hardest hit by the country-wide lockdown.

At the outset of the pandemic, Fair Trade USA also made accommodations to its Certification Policy to ease the burden on farmers, workers, and fishers during this trying time. This policy will be updated as the pandemic evolves. To stay up to date on all of Fair Trade USA’s COVID-19 actions, please visit https://www.fairtradecertified.org/news/covid-19-response