UCSB’s Associated Students Human Rights Board will host its first Fair Trade Fair today at 11 a.m. on the Student Resource Building’s lawn.
The HRB organized the fair to educate students about ethical consumerism as promoted by the fair trade movement for sustainable international development and trade. Various local businesses will offer samples of fair trade food and merchandise at the event.
According to HRB Chair Tamara Fisher, every purchase has a global impact.
“Students should come to the FTF to learn about the difference they can make by purchasing goods that were produced in conditions that are not harmful to the workers making the product in regards to working conditions and the amount of wages the workers receive,” Fisher said. “They can learn all of this while trying out local and fair trade foods and maybe even winning some apparel.”
Numerous campus and community groups teamed up with local businesses to provide samples at the fair. Among others, the Muslim Student Association, Student Food Collective, Isla Vista Food Co-Op, Green Star Coffee, Fairview Gardens Farms and African Schools of Kenya will distribute samples of everything from Equal Exchange chocolate and local fruit to T-shirts and authentic Maasai jewelry from Kenya.
Fisher said she hopes the fair will educate students about the worldwide benefits of fair trade.
“The Human Rights Board wants to educate the student body on what it means to be an ethical consumer,” Fisher said in an e-mail. “While activism and advocacy is always a good way to make a difference, it is also important that people can practice positive habits in what they purchase and who they purchase their products from and how their purchases can positively impact local community members as well as others throughout the world.”
The HRB meets every Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Girvetz 1115.