Jessica and I will be researching fair trade and its role in the Boston Solidarity Economy. On our website we think it is really important that we explain fair trade, its history and its ideals. We believe that a lot of the public is unaware of how exploitative free trade really can be but would surely prefer an alternative if they were more informed. In order to get our point across we would like to create a list of pros and cons of trade and globalization. We hope to show that fair trade allows us to keep the pros but lose the cons.
We will give a brief description of the World Fair Trade Organization and research how one obtains certification/qualification of Fair Trade (Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International in Bonn, Germany (www.fairtrade.net); the group in the U.S. that handles the certification of Fair Trade imports and use of the Fair Trade seal is TransFair USA; http://www.transfairusa.org). We hope that this will prompt those viewing our website to seriously consider the option of fair trade and gain at least a basic understanding for what their next steps should be.
As it appears now, the audience for our website will be producers or business owners that are in a position to instigate a switch to fair trade. We hope that all will benefit from our site however and newly informed consumers always have the power to suggest to business owners that they consider fair trade.
Jessica and I plan to use Equal Exchange as our case study. We will give a history of the company, its motivations for practicing fair trade and explain the logistics of how it operates. We hope to go on a tour of the Equal Exchange office in West Bridgewater on May 11th.
The more creative component of our project will hopefully be a short film on Equal Exchange. When at the office we plan to talk to employees about their work experiences there and why they work there. We will also record the working environment and the facility as we go on our tour. Before we conduct video interviews, will contact the Equal Exchange press/media contact person, Rodney North (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In order to get the consumer perspective we will visit the Equal Exchange Café in Boston to talk to the customers. We hope to ask them what factors go into their decisions to consume Equal Exchange products and what other ways they incorporate the solidarity economy into their lives.