In anticipation of Fair Trade Month this October, ice cream giant Ben & Jerry's is asking its customers to donate some of their tweet space to messages supporting Fair Trade. The company originally created the Fair Tweets Twitter Web app to promote World Fair Trade Day, May 16, but no ice cream lover can resist a double scoop—or brand, for that matter.
The app tacks a Fair Trade note onto any leftover characters in tweets, like so:
The first sentence of the tweet is mine; the rest is auto generated based on how many characters are left. You can try it out—and send you own tweets—at FairTweets.com.
Two things really stand out here: 1. Ben & Jerry's isn't mentioned in the tweet and 2. The campaign seems less invasive because you're donating your "leftovers" rather than retweeting the same canned message. But even more impressive is where the tweets send you. Each #FairTweet links to an article about Fair Trade, whether it's from GhanaWeb, the Fair Trade Institute, Green America, the Fair Trade Association of Australia & New Zealand, etc.
This is a huge win for Fair Trade across the world. Instead of sending everyone to the Fair Trade Month website (and thus making the tweets predictable and less viral), Ben & Jerry's is taking advantage of the true nature of Fair Trade—it affects us all, no matter where we live on the planet.
Ben & Jerry's is already well-known as the first ice cream company to use Fair Trade Certified ingredients. The effort began in 2005 with its coffee flavors and continues through 2013, with the whole company involved in the transition. "Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting somebody else," said Co-Founder Jerry Greenfield. Agreed. Now your tweets can be exploitation-free, too.