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Murals Honor the Farmers Behind Our Favorite Products, Benefits of Fair Trade

The murals were part of a Fairtrade America campaign during October for Fair Trade Month, to raise awareness of Fairtrade’s positive impacts. Shoppers voiced their choice for Fairtrade and won various Fairtrade prizes.

The unprecedented challenges of 2020 have made it increasingly difficult for even the most altruistic brands and organizations to broaden awareness, or even just remain top-of-mind for consumers. However, the organizations such as Fairtrade America cannot hit the pause button on advocating for the almost 2 million farmers and workers they represent.

In honor of October as Fair Trade Month, Fairtrade America launched a national campaign to creatively generate broader awareness for how a simple action such as purchasing a Fairtrade-certified product, can be a powerful way to make a difference. While consumer awareness and purchase intent of Fairtrade products is increasing in the US, this campaign was intended to educate more US consumers about the value of purchasing Fairtrade-certified products. 

The “Choose Fairtrade: Choose the World You Want” campaign featured murals in three major US cities (Denver, Los Angeles and Nashville) that connect the stories of the people who produce the food crops we count on every day — such as coffee, cocoa, bananas, tea and more — to the positive impacts of Fairtrade. Fairtrade America partnered with notable mural artists and key retailers in each city, where mural art is already a prominent part of the culture. The murals feature real farmers’ images and a key benefit of choosing Fairtrade. When shoppers see the Fairtrade America label on a product, it means farmers were fairly compensated; and the product was produced in compliance with gender equality, fair wage, climate change and child labor standards. 

“For generations, art has inspired conversation of issues and hope for change. Fairtrade America is proud to commission murals that celebrate the men and women who work hard to produce staple goods we enjoy,” said Peg Willingham, executive director of Fairtrade America. “We hope this campaign connects the dots between the choices we have as consumers to purchase Fairtrade-certified products, and the differences made in the lives of people who produce and grow our food. Fairtrade envisions a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfill their potential and decide on their future.” 

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The producers featured in murals represent millions of farmers in the Fairtrade system who receive fair compensation for their goods and assistance producing them in compliance with Fairtrade’s rigorous standards. Fairtrade’s unique model includes a Premium fund that farming cooperatives receive on top of the price of the product. Co-op members vote to determine how the money is spent — typically on community programs such as access to education or healthcare. In 2019, certified producers earned more than $208M through the Fairtrade Premium alone. 

Farming is the single largest employer in the world — two out of every five people farm. Purchasing goods with the Fairtrade America logo is an easy way to make a difference in the lives of people who grow our food. The Choose Fairtrade: Choose the World You Want campaign highlights a couple of Fairtrade’s key areas of impact: fighting poverty and promoting gender equality. Fairtrade’s work also impacts ending child labor, combating climate change and supporting workers’ rights.

The campaign — which also included online giveaways and consumer resources — resulted in more than 8,500 people signing up to Choose Fairtrade products whenever possible; local media coverage in the markets where the murals appeared; and increased sales of Fairtrade products at retailers where murals were located. For more information on this campaign, follow @fairtrademarkus on Instagram and visit choosefairtrade.org.

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