Initially a project of Oxfam America, Chicago Fair Trade was formed in June, 2006 with 24 organizations as founding members. CFT has 5 membership groups, businesses, faith based organizations, non-profits, student groups and universities, and individuals. It works throughout the metro area to increase support for fair trade through education, advocacy and targeted consumer compaigns. CFT currently has 70 member organizations. It holds, 4 community wide meetings a year and celebrates World Fair Trade Day in Daley Plaza with a festival.
Declared on May 6, 2011
Fair Trade Town Status
- Community Organization
Latest Town News
Many of us are relieved to see some serious movement toward comprehensive immigration policy because we have heard the terrible stories of family separation through deportation. We have heard the tragic tales of people dying in the dessert. But in this discussion of paths to citizenship and “securing our borders”, something is missing: the discussion about WHY so many people would choose to leave their homeland.
Trade policies that the U.S. implemented through NAFTA twenty years ago have been a driving force, pushing people to take huge risks and move north. Small subsistence farmers in Mexico lost their ability… Learn More
Venture Imports is a company dedicated to providing employment to people in developing countries by providing them with access to North American markets. They work with artisans from Kenya, Liberia, and Zimbabwe; making sure these producers earn a fair wage in the local context. Here is an example of how one of their products, glass jewelry beads, are produced.
It is quite a laborious process for the artists to create recycled glass jewelry. It all starts with Simon gathering glass bottles from local bars. After the bottles are washed, the labels need to be removed and the bottles broken into… Learn More
DePaul’s Big Reveal
On a bitter cold Monday night, the Fair Trade Committee (FTC) lured homework stricken and frozen students with chocolate, hot cocoa and bananas to the Big Reveal Event. This event was FTC’s official announcement of the campaign to the DePaul University community. Our goal is to become a fair trade university through the criteria set out by Fair Trade USA, similar in some ways to the ones Chicago Fair Trade went through to make Chicago the second largest fair trade city! So far we have one step completely documented: forming a committee. We formed this committee… Learn More
I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2012 Fair Trade Campaigns National Conference Held in Chicago. This event provided me with plenty of current information on both national and global fair trade initiatives. Some of the highlights included break-out sessions addressing specific issues such as using social media and strategic planning principles increase the power and spread the reach of our own local fair trade project.
We also had the opportunity to hear from various guest speakers including both fair trade business owners as well as producers from areas in which fair trade products are sourced. Chicago is… Learn More