I am a big believer of helping out where I can—volunteering, buying local, and emptying my pocket change into the plastic bins and metal tins of non-profits. This being said, I would like to tip my hat, proverbially speaking, to the City of Toronto.

Toronto has been officially bestowed with Fair Trade City status at a flag-raising ceremony at City Hall, pledging to buy fair trade coffees, teas, and sugars for all of its in-house operations—about $300,000 worth of food.

The city, where more than 400 Fair Trade-recognized retail stores and coffee shops have claimed their stakes, is the largest in North America to be considered a Fair Trade City. It now joins a growing community of 500 other cities, including Vancouver, BC; Barrie, Ontario; and Sherbrooke, Quebec, located around the world in supporting Fair Trade commerce.

 

World Fair Trade Day

Tomorrow, May 11, people all over the world will be celebrating World Fair Trade Day in a flurry of colourful banners, Fair Trade food tasting, and—in Norway’s Bislet Stadium—an attempt to break the Guinness World Record by fitting as many people as possible into one giant pair of Fair Trade underwear.

Many stores across North America will offer discounts to fair trade products and celebrations in Canada will take the form of fair trade markets, music, and foods and drinks with officials from fair trade organizations.

 

What is fair trade?

Fair trade is a concept in which farmers and workers get better prices for their products. The Fair Trade certification on products also assures that workers have a safe working environment, and that the environment is protected.

All of this translates into a safer, greener, cleaner planet for everyone to enjoy.