Bay Area Fair Trade Coalition

Dedicated to raising awareness and building demand for Fair Trade in the Bay Area.
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Fair Trade Month Events

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The Bay Area Fair Trade Coalition has been busy with a number of local events in Oakland and Berkeley and more to come later this month in San Francisco. To kick it all off we hosted a Fair Trade Month "Kick-Off" party on Tuesday, September 29th at the Fox Den in downtown Oakland.

The event was the official launch for both the Fair Trade Oakland campaign and the national Fair Trade Month campaign and Fair Trade supporters, activists and staff from local Fair Trade businesses and nonprofits came by to share a drink, participate in our raffle and learn more about the campaigns. We also had a photo booth where you could have your picture taken as the famous Fair Trade Certified "bucket boy" himself!

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On Tuesday, October 6th we had a flurry of events to celebrate Fair Trade Month and Fairhills Fair Trade Wines from Argentina, Chile and South Africa. In mid afternoon we started with a wonderful speaking engagement with MBA students and the NET impact group at the HAAS School of Business at UC Berkeley. The event feautered a panel discussion including TransFair USA CFO, Joan Catherine Braun; Fair Trade Towns USA coordinator, Billy Linstead Goldsmith; and Founder of Origin Wines and exporter of Fair Trade Certified Fairhills Wine, Bernard Fontannaz.

Joan presented a wonderfully eloquent speech on the mission of TrasFair USA and Fair Trade Certified as a successful model for sustainable trade. Billy presented on the history of the national Fair Trade Towns movement and the growing movement for a Fair Trade Oakland and Berkeley. Bernard spoke on the impact of Fair Trade Certified wines for wine producers in Argentina, Chile and South Africa and gave some moving insight into how Fair Trade is truly changing lives.

Later that afternoon, Prestige Wines, hosted a wine tasting and tabling with Bernard at the Whole Foods Market in Potrero Hill and celebrated the launch of their new Fair Trade Certified Bus Stop wines. The event was a smashing success with over 35 bottles sold even in the slow, mid-afternoon 2 hour time slot. The premium generated from the sale of every bottle of Fairhills Bus Stop wine goes to fund school buses for the children of vineyard workers.

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We ended the day with a delightful wine and chocolate tasting and fundraiser at the Bay Area HUB in Berkeley. Alter Eco sampled their chocolates and Prestige Wines sampled their Fairhills wines available at Whole Foods Market and Cost Plus World Market. TransFair USA's Development Director, Lynn Lohr presented a heartwarming speech about TransFair USA and Wes Selke of Good Capital spoke of his companies investment in Fair Trade products. Bernard Fontannaz finished the night with a wonderful presentation about Fairhills Fair Trade Certified wines and Matthieu Senard of Alter Eco asked some interesting questions that got him talking about the history of Apartheid in South Africa and how Fair Trade offers a way forward. He also presented a video of the Fairhills Vineyards where we got to see first hand how the vineyard works and hear the hopes and dreams of its workers for a new future with Fair Trade.

Our BAFTC Fair Trade Month activities continued last night with a Fair Trade movie screening at the Numi Tea Garden in Oakland. Cosponsored by Numi Tea and Alter Eco, the event featured a film screening and discussion of two Fair Trade films "All in This Tea" and "The Price of Sugar" and guests were treated to an assortment of Fair Trade and locally produced food and drink.

The event featured a panel discussion with Ahmed Rahim, CEO of Numi Organic Tea; Edouard Rollet, COO of Alter Eco Products; Cate Baril, Director of Grocery and Ingredients at TransFair USA and Maria Lafleur, a former Peace Corps volunteer from the Dominican Republic. Attendees also enjoyed a showcase of Fair Trade Certified products, including tea, olive oil, chocolate, honey and sugar, as well as a sampling of Fair Trade Ceritied wine and local pizza from Arizmendi. Many Thanks to our product donors, Numi Organic Tea, Alter Eco Products, Stellar Organic Winery and Wholesome Sweeteners.

And there's still one more event to come! Stay tuned for details about our upcoming Fair Trade Chocolate giveaway with Divine Chocolate at the 24th St., Rockridge and Ashby BART stations on October 29th!