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WASHINGTON -- A coalition of major fair trade organizations will hold a Fair Trade Conference Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 at the Holiday Inn ChicagoMart Plaza, to publicize the growing Fair Trade movement in North America.
The various organizers have scheduled workshops, action events, and storytelling, among other activities.
"Supporters of fair trade are coming together from all corners of the movement," said conference convener Jackie DeCarlo of the Fair Trade Resource Network, a consumer awareness group, in a statement. "If you see yourself as part of a fair trade future…this event is a must." For online registration visit http://www.fairtradefutures.org.
The fair trade movement is a global network of producers, traders, marketers, advocates, and consumers with the common aim of establishing equitable trading relationships between consumers and the world's impoverished artisans and farmers. Fair trade is the central activity and primary mission of about 150 North American businesses, says the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), which describes itself as "an association of fair trade wholesalers, retailers, and producers whose members are committed to providing fair wages and good employment opportunities to economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers worldwide."
According to the FTF's "Fair Trade Trends Report," released in July 2005, sales of fair trade products in North America increased 53 percent from 2002 to 2003 and more than 20 percent from 2003 to 2004, and fair trade is currently a $400 million industry on the continent.