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Brandywine Fair Trade 

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October wrapped up Fair Trade month.  And while many people have no idea what fair trade entails, the work of some Brandywine students and facility members is hoping to change that.

Penn State Brandywine became a Fair Trade Campus on May 12, 2012.

Fair Trade is an organized social movement that intends to help producers in developing countries to make better trading conditions and promote sustainabil- ity. According to those who promote Fair Trade, goods are exactly what it says–fair.  Proponents want farmersand workers justly compensated.

According to www.fairtradeusa.org, “Fair Trade USA Fair Trade is a nonprofit organization that certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods are paid fair prices and wages.”

On campus, this Trailblazer group started from the independent study of one student, Abbey Dufoe and Associate Professor of Earth Science, Dr. Laura Guertin. It was then decided to get more students, faculty and admin­istrators involved so that the Brandywine campus could gain Fair Trade Status as a University.

Head of Fair Trade at Penn State Brandywine Christina Olear describes the work she’s most proud of when it comes to educating other students.

“The event that we are most proud of on campus was when the Trailblazers hosted an event with a speaker from Di­vine Chocolate (A Fair Trade Organization) with choco­late samples for the audience,” Olear said.

“Also, last year our two day t-shirt swap of gently worn t-shirt for brand new Fair Trade Penn State T-shirts (Alta Gracia).

We re­ceived over 237 t-shirts which were donated to those in need. We helped spread the word of Fair Trade while also helping those in our own country who are less fortunate.”

Olear says there are a number of different reasons why students, not just from Brandywine campus, but all over the nation, should get involved with this service club. She says club positively impacts the lives of others by simply choosing one product over another. Fair Trade awareness helps students to comprehend important issues happening all over the world.

“While learning more about the world, we hope to facili­tate a passion to help others and to promote gratitude for the blessings in our own lives,” Olear said.

The on-campus group hopes with Fair Trade, the money people spend on day-to-day goods can improve an entire community’s day-to-day economy. To help Penn State Brandywine with this cause, go to: www.facebook.com/ psubwfairtrade. The Penn State Trailblazers group also has a blog: pennstatebrandywinefairtrade.wordpress.com

 Victoria Marotta

Lion’s Eye Editor, vim5121@psu.edu

 

 

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