I was recently in Dublin, Ireland and went into a huge department store and decided I needed a coffee break. How happy I was to see they were using Fair Trade coffee and that they made a point of having that on their signs so customers knew. I was so impressed that I saved my receipt and sent them a thank you e-mail:
“I just wanted to say thank you for your caring about people with the use of “Fair Trade” items in your cafeteria. I am a volunteer in Florida with the Coalition Against Human Trafficking and it is so important to use and sell Fair Trade items. I felt so good drinking your coffee and I noticed other items that were Fair Trade.
Your store is wonderful and that was the icing on the cake, so to speak.
Again, thanks for caring. Probably nice for you to hear this is noticed.”
So while it is usually easy to find fault and send complaints, it is a good idea to drop companies a quick email or note to let them know that we do see what they are doing and thank them.
Just a thought……
P.S. I got a great e-mail back from the store and they were thrilled to receive a thank you for their efforts.
At times we can get a bit discouraged when looking at big problems in our world. It is easy to become overwhelmed and ask, “What can I really do to help?” Vast problems can overwhelm and make us feel inadequate to make any kind of impact. I try to keep myself in a positive mode and love this quote that most of us have heard:
“Just as ripples spread out when a single
pebble is dropped into water, the actions
of individuals can have far-reaching effects.”
Each person can influence the lives of others in many ways and each pebble you toss can make a difference. That pebble I’m referring to is the use of Fair Trade products.
Items with the Fair Trade label can improve a community’s day-to-day lives. These products come from cooperatives, independent small farmers, and farm workers in 70 developing countries across Africa, Asia, Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean. There are about 12,000 products that are Fair Trade certified. These products can be found in more than 110,000 retail locations in North America.
Your effort can be as small as buying coffee, tea or chocolate, with a mindset of helping others. This is so simple and worthwhile. You get a good product while at the same time help others. When you drink that cup of coffee, tea, or have a bite of chocolate it will taste extra good knowing you helped someone.
So the next time you are at the store, check labels and try to find a few things you can purchase that adds value to our world. If you don’t find Fair Trade items where you shop please speak to the store manager and let the store know this is something you are interested in, or fill in a product request card.
You can make a difference. Toss your pebble at the grocery store and look for these trade marks.