BY MARJORIE STEWART
Shoppers in Nanaimo can support fair trade at a local non-profit seasonal store.
The seasonal Global Village Nanaimo fair trade store is now open at 111 Terminal Ave., the yellow building on the corner at Campbell Street. The store is stocked with foods, housewares, accessories, baskets and much more, mostly directly imported from small producer groups.
Caroline Hodson, GVN president, said, “Most of our customers are just happy with the variety and the quality and our assurance that the people who made the goods got an agreed fair price. But we also get asked how we know the producers get the benefit, about how certification and labelling work.”
There is confusion between certifier/labellers. The World Fair Trade Organisation is firm that fair trade must be introduced along the value chain from producer to buyer, and now guarantees fair trade with its logo. The Latin American small producers organization uses its own certification program with its own SPP symbol, which it sees as “a bridge of communication and collaboration between small producers and consumers.”
Some older-established logos now certify larger producers in hope of introducing some fairer practices on a larger scale.
GVN is part of the global development aid network through membership in the B.C. Council for International Co-operation which is a member of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation .
“GVN is committed to purchasing from small producers, many of whom are not certified. We know that the handcrafts trade is close behind food and beverages as an income generator for those most in need. We apply the 10 fair trade principles of the World Fair Trade Organization when we import directly and we put our reputation behind the products we sell,” said Hodson.