UNR's First "Fair Trade Fair" Targets Worker Abuses - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

UNR's First "Fair Trade Fair" Targets Worker Abuses

Posted: Updated:

It was an historic day for activism today (Wednesday) at the University of Nevada, Reno: the very first Fair Trade Fair on campus. It had a “rocky” start…they first had to search for rocks to hold down the leaflets on this windy Wednesday. Students walking by the exhibition might have thought they were passing a geology display. Nope...this had a much more serious message. Advocate Marissa Crook, founder of UNR’s Students to Abolish Sex Slavery club told us the point of the fair was "to educate students about how they can use their purchasing power to end demand for goods made with forced labor."

Her club lined up vendors and samples of fair trade products on the Knowledge Center lawn. Things like tea and chocolate are very popular, but so many of the ingredients that produce them are imported from many miles away. In too many countries, there are huge unethical worker violations. Vendor Kevin Elliot of Davidson’s Organic Teas told us, "Companies are probably taking advantage of these people across seas. Nobody’s looking out for them except for these fair trade companies."

Take coffee for example. Columbia, Brazil and Vietnam are the largest coffee importers to the U.S. But those 3 countries have a very poor record of farm worker injustices. People like Marissa believe you should use your money with a conscience, with things like this chocolate. As she told us, "I know that the entire supply chain in that chocolate we’re sampling here was not made with forced labor."

It’s a side most people don't consider when they buy…but the more Marissa looked into fair trade, the more passionate she got about what workers go through in some countries: "They'd be forced to work 6 to 7 days a week 12 hours a day in inhumane conditions, it just really bothered me. It's like a modern form of slavery."

The point at the fair, to show UNR students how they can use their purchasing power to put an end to labor trafficking products. As Elliot put it, "If it’s not fair trade, you don't really know what's happening in other countries."

So, as the cool weather rushes in and you shop for your morning coffee or tea hand warmers, check where it comes from. Look for a fair trade certified label. You'll not just help yourself to a delicious cup, but also the poor farmers overseas.

The Fair Trade Fair was only for today, but we have a link for you to learn more about fair trade products, including a list of what you can buy and where. Click the link below:


Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.