April 22, 2008 - News

Letter to the fair trade movement
I’ve been thinking about writing this letter for a while. And, recently, I’ve been thinking about walking away from the fair trade movement. The thought still crosses my mind from time-to-time. I first came across the idea of fair trade when Just Us! Coffee Roasters Coop opened a cafe and roastery in a small converted house in New Minas, Nova Scotia in 1995. I was 15 at the time, listening to punk (real punk!), and reading about NAFTA and the Zapatistas in the nation-state the world now knows as Mexico, and the solidarity of people around the world working with the Zapatistas. Being a teenager, I was still trying to figure out the world and where I fit in it. I’m still trying to figure that out, haha. Just Us! Coop, particularly Jeff Moore, was my first teacher on matters of fair trade. The fair trade I learned about was synonymous with the coop movement, and values and actions encompassing solidarity, transparency, respect, dialogue, and mutual accountability.