World Fair Trade Day – It’s Our Day, Let’s Get it Out There!

WFTD donald-trump-60-minutes copyI have a Fair Trade sensor in my brain. Every time I hear “Fair Trade” my ears perk up and I start looking around – kind of like when my dog hears the doorbell except I don’t generally bark.  The radar’s been blipping a lot lately this presidential election season.  Who knew that both the Democrats AND the Republicans would be talking about Fair Trade??  Bernie Sanders says, “I believe in fair trade which works for the middle class and working families of this country and not just large multinational corporations.” John Kasich says, “We want to have free trade but fair trade.” Even Donald Trump said on 60 Minutes, “Scott we need fair trade. Not free trade. We need fair trade. It’s gotta be fair.”

So there you have it, Fair Trade is on the agenda of the 2016 presidential candidates. Wouldn’t Donald Trump be a great plenary speaker at the Fair Trade Federation conference? Our job is done….What??  Their Fair Trade isn’t our Fair Trade?  Unfortunately we can’t call them on the carpet for trademark infringement because they are using two words together correctly that mean something totally different than how most of you reading this post define it.

Almost since the day that we shifted from “Alternative Trade” to “Fair Trade,” we’ve had an identity crisis. I can’t count the times my hackles have raised when Global Crafts is referred to in the media as a “Free Trade” business.  But “free” sounds so much better than “fair” (think movie ratings) doesn’t it?  So even if we manage to get people to call us the right name, we struggle to explain it in a succinct phrase and separate ourselves from others who think there is a marketing advantage by saying they are Fair Trade and use the term without adhering to any principles.

360-logo-940x933To lift its members from the fray, the Fair Trade Federation designed a campaign that states that its members are committed to “360o Fair Trade” (for you PC users, I use a small “o” and the MS superscript font option to get the degree symbol…)  Take that you politicians!  360o Fair Trade “means not only fair wages, but also long-term, holistic partnerships that empower small businesses and artisans to grow their businesses.”  The relationships between FTF members and artisans and farmers go further than fair wages and safe working conditions: they empower producers to strengthen communities and grow their businesses sustainably. It’s a very, very good message, a “Yuge” message.  But now we have to get it out there, and what better time than World Fair Trade Day!

World Fair Trade Day, May 14th, 2016

For WFTD 2016, Global Crafts is partnering with the Fair Trade Federation in distributing the “Fair Trade Sold Here” posters, which are a mock-up of an Instagram post.  There’s room to write in your store name.  We have a rather ambitious goal that everyone who receives a poster will change their Facebook business AND personal profile to be a picture with this frame.  Change it early or change it on World Fair Trade Day — wouldn’t that get noticed?

How to Get a Fair Trade Sold Here Poster

If you are a Global Crafts wholesale customer, we will be sending posters with any orders you place.  We will also be distributing them at the Fair Trade Federation conference in Burlington VT the last week of April (giving you one more reason to attend!)  There will also be a photo booth at the FTF conference to get the party started!  Not placing an order or going to the FTF conference?  If you aren’t placing an order with us and are not going to the FTF conference, we have them available for sale in various quantities at the bottom of this post.

Ways to Use the Fair Trade Sold Here Poster

WFTD FTSH Calypso Green GlassWe suggest you mount the poster on poster board (it’s the size of a standard poster board).  The blog post “Using Your Social Cutout” shows how easy it is to turn the poster into a “social cut-out”, as Kevin calls it.

I know that some of you creative types will have all kinds of ways to use the poster but here are few that we’ve come up with:

  • Cut out the inside and take pictures of your store, staff, customers, and of course pets
  • Add funky fair trade props
  • For you talented types,  cut out only a hole for faces and add something clever in the white space
  • Shy? Write on the white space promoting your store’s World Fair Trade Day event

Let’s Get Fair Trade Out There!

This can’t be a passive campaign.  For it to be successful we all need to post, post, post on social media (did I mention we need to post?)  To get the most out of the campaign, we need to start as soon as possible.  Offer discounts, giveaways or entries into a drawing for customers who post an image of themselves using the poster.  Award a prize for the post on your page that gets the most likes.  Use the hashtags #FairTradeDay, #360fairtrade, and #fair trade on all of your posts.  Share your image on the WorldFairTradeDay Facebook page.

WFTD-Craftworks CambodiaPromote your World Fair Trade Day event on the Fair Trade Federation’s Event page, even if you’re not an FTF member.

And I know that most of you will have other ways that we can make this campaign a success and get people talking about “our” Fair Trade so please share your ideas as comments on this post, on our Think Thursday Facebook page, or with the Fair Trade Federation.

For at least one day, let’s get outrageous and get more media attention than Donald Trump!

Purchase a Social Cut Out

Renice co-founded Global Crafts in 2002 with her husband Kevin Ward after settling in Florida after 3 years in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer. Creating a Fair Trade business that married her passion for artisan-made pieces and years of experience in IT finally enabled Renice to find her perfect career.

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