Town_storeThe city of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin has been in the fair trade news recently, and for good reason! Not only has Fond du Lac become the latest (and 32nd!) US Fair Trade Town but also, on World Fair Trade Day 2013, Fairtrade.us announced that its first annual Reader’s Choice Award for the Favorite Fair Trade Store went to their very own Just Fare Market.

As founder of the Cordillera Heirloom Rice Project in the Philippines and supplier of Fair Trade heirloom rice to the Just Fare Market, I know first hand that this extraordinary store does much more than provide an outlet for crafts, clothing and food products from developing countries.

The Just Fare Market works hard to fulfill its mission to educate the community about the benefits of fair trade and remind consumers that a difference can be made when people consider how and by whom products are produced.
Earlier this year, the farmers in the Cordillera Heirloom Rice Project were highlighted by the Just Fare Market, both in the store and on their website. The store’s Volunteer Committee hosted an evening “rice party” for volunteers that combined fun, product education and a tasting of our heirloom rice that volunteers had prepared as rice fritters, fried rice, blueberry rice pudding and rice salad.

Just Fare Market_Page        rice party 002

When volunteer Marcia McLaughlin learned of our Adopt-A-Terrace initiative to restore and rehabilitate damaged and abandoned terraces, she requested that the project be part of the store’s artisan fund, which invites customers to round up to the nearest fifty cents or dollar when they make a purchase.

Through this fund, the volunteers and customers have adopted a terrace in Pasil, Kalinga and are supporting Gudilea Ayangdo to repair her terraces, which were damaged during a major typhoon in 2011.
Damaged Terraces

To this amazing store and community, thank you! Positive change happens when people work together to support each other. Whether its called bayanihan or Fair Trade, it’s about making our communities and our world a better place for all.

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