Submitted by Alaffia
Olympia has the opportunity to become the first city in Washington State to be named a Fair Trade City by the Fair Trade Towns USA Campaign.
The campaign is being spearheaded by Alaffia, a fair trade skincare organization, working to empower communities, increase awareness of the benefits of fair trade, and highlight Olympia’s commitment to being a leader in the global fight on inequality.
Alaffia currently employs more than 80 full-time employees in the Olympia-Tumwater area and 500 women at their cooperatives in Togo, West Africa, where the raw ingredients of their products are handcrafted. Alaffia is Fair for Life Certified by the Institute for Marketecology both in Togo and Olympia, which confirms Alaffia meets standards concerning fair working conditions, fair prices and wages, environmental performance, and community relations.
The Fair Trade Towns USA campaign raises consumer awareness, increases the availability of fair trade products, and drives sales in order to help lift more than 1.2 million families out of poverty.
To become an official Fair Trade Town, applicants must build retail availability and show that Fair Trade products are available in local stores, as well as in institutions, such as places of worship, schools, and offices. The City Council must also pass an official resolution in support of fair trade, stating it is an issue important to its government and residents and including plans to implement that support in concrete ways.
Olympia would join over 20 other municipalities already recognized as Fair Trade Towns, including Montclair, Red Bank, and Highland Park, NJ; Boston, Amherst, and Northampton, MA; Brattleboro and Burlington, VT; San Francisco and Chico, CA; Milwaukee, WI; Media, PA; Bluffton, OH; Ballston Spa, NY; and Taos, NM. Furthermore, active campaigns are taking place in over 30 additional towns and cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Seattle.