Leading by Example During National Fair Trade Month
In 2019, over 370 Fair Trade supporters and advocates gathered in Chicago at Fair Trade Campaigns National Conference to make new connections and take a deep dive on issues at the core of the fair trade movement. Over the course of three days, attendees heard from 70 speakers sharing their insights and expertise on fair trade, sustainability, social justice, community organizing, and much more. The 2019 conference built on the success and momentum from the 2018 conference in Washington, DC.
With sustainability in their DNA, this organization knows how vital sustainable conference practices are to their participants. Highlights of their efforts include:
Registration – the badge holders were provided by Matr Boomie, which has been building paths to community empowerment and sustainable incomes for artisans and their families in rural India, and made out of upcycled saris. Recognition ribbons were replaced by reusable buttons.
The stage set was very simple and utilized reusable banners from the organization.
Coffee and Tea
All coffee, tea and iced tea served at the functions were fair trade certified.
All Plant-based Meal
Instead of lunch having a vegetarian option, a plant-based lunch was served to all participants. By eliminating meat for all, the conference saved the equivalent of 600 bathtubs of water over a chicken entrée and the equivalent of 2,100 bathtubs over beef.
The 2020 Conference is planned for March 20-22 in Pasadena, California and will continue lead the way in sustainable events. Sustainable event initiatives for 2020 include:
Plant-based meals to reduce water and carbon
Fair trade coffee in hotel sleeping rooms in addition to at the event
Shuttle service for students instead of individual cars or ride share
For the first time, the catering contract required the chef to actively procure more fair trade products in the conference menu
Thanks to Fair Trade Campaigns for the incredible work they do in the world and for making events more sustainable, one conference at a time. Read the Fair Trade 2019 case study for more information.
If you happen to be in New York City, check out Fair Trade USA’s first ever pop-up shop, Fair Trade Difference.