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Celebrate Fair Trade on May 8th

Every year, World Fair Trade Day is celebrated on the second Saturday in May. Around DL, we support the idea that every day is Fair Trade Day—after all, fair trade practices and policies have done much (and continue to do more) to support farmers, artisans, producers, and their families and communities around the globe (learn more about fair trade and what the label means). Did you know that 65 percent of certified fair trade goods are also organic?

What's exciting this year is just how much fair trade has grown. Consider the coffee you drank this morning. Perhaps you even purchased it at Starbucks, which now features fair trade coffees in approximately 10,000 of its locations. According to recent report from TransFairUSA, a nonprofit certifier of fair trade goods in the U.S., "Coffee is Fair Trade’s flagship product, and its 2009 growth resulted in over $45 million in additional income paid to farmers."

But Fair Trade has also branched out beyond mainstays like coffee, chocolate, tea, and bananas. TransFairUSA announced exciting news today about fair trade spirits, including goji berry liquor and vodka distilled from Bolivian-sourced quinoa. And TransFair will soon certify home goods and apparel, too, addressing all aspects of the supply chain from cotton farming, to materials processing, to production and sewing. I was thrilled to catch up with Stacy Wagner and Cate Baril from TransFair at the Natural Products Expo; we discussed some of the hottest fair-trade product trends now in stores.

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