About Us

Llama by Peruvian artisansMAFTTI owes a lot to this little llama. S/he came to Mankato on May 5, 2009, taking part in a Midwest tour by two Peruvian artisans, Ayde Riveros from Huancavelica and Eva Pizarro from Lima..  Ayde and Eva told their moving stories of emancipation and the struggle for economic justice through Fair Trade. The textiles that were among the co-op items they brought with them for sale provide the colorful backdrop to this site.

Afterwards, the local Churches’ Fair Trade Network, the group that had hosted the well-patronized evening program, decided that a Fair Trade Town project should be the next step. So MAFTTI was born in June 2009 with the objective of promoting the Fair Trade Town idea in the area..

There is no Fair Trade store in Mankato itself. MAFTTI tries to promote awareness of Fair Trade products and principles - in supermarkets, smaller retail shops, coffee bars and locally-owned restaurants, schools, colleges, community organizations, religious bodies, businesses and, of course, at the civic level.

Some of the highlights of MAFTTI's life so far have been::

  • Fair Trade Town Declaration - October 24, 2011 - the 25th in USA; the FIRST IN MINNESOTA.
  • Fair Trade Exposure Visits - Dominican Republic (4/12), southern Mexico (7/13)
  • Visit to Mankato area of two Colombian Fair Trade Banana Producers (10/12)
  • Fair Trade Conferences - Boston (10/10); Philadelphia (10/11); Chicago (10/12)
  • 5th International Fair Trade Towns Conference - Malmo, Sweden (11/11)
  • 9th International Fair Trade Towns Conference, Bristol, England (7/15)
  • Annual presence at Mankato Area International Festival (April)
  • World Fair Trade Day activities at coffee shops and supermarkets (May)
  • World Fair Trade Day (and week before) - Fair Trade books display at Barnes & Noble
  • 'Carmen Miranda' and friends appear in North Mankato Fun Days Parade (July)
  • Tabling at Mankato Farmers' Market several times in the season
  • Annual presence at Campus & Community Fair, MSU (late August/early September)
  • Fair Trade Month (October) displays in public libraries in Mankato and North Mankato
  • Encouraging churches and schools to organize 'Reverse Trick or Treat' for Halloween
  • Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the Fair Trade Town Declaration in Mankato (10/16)

As you see, we have lots of balls in the air. We could do with some help catching them all.

Click on Contact Us and we’ll be glad to hear from you.