Pasadena Puts the Focus on Fair

February 14 event at City Hall recognizes Pasadena's official commitment to Fair Trade

Published : Thursday, February 14, 2013 | 8:44 PM

Pasadena on Thursday joined the city of Claremont as the only two Southern California municipalities – among 1,500 others worldwide – to become a Fair Trade City, as a part of the Fair Trade Towns Campaign.

“It’s something, we as a city, can be really proud of,” said Diana Percival, lead organizer for Fair Trade Pasadena, on the steps of City Hall, following a ribbon cutting ceremony and the unveiling of the new “Fair Trade Pasadena” logo.

“It (the designation) says we’re a socially-conscious purchasing community that uses our purchasing power to benefit communities around the world and to benefit our community here,” Percival said. “Fair Trade means we are purchasing, that are made in fair conditions. They use sustainable practices in growing and producing the products.”

Fair Trade Towns is an international campaign uniting community activists, businesses and consumers across the country to make a tangible impact on the market by creating the demand for justice and equity for producers, artisans, farmers, and workers locally and around the world, according to a City of Pasadena news statement.

So in keeping with that sentiment and following Thursday morning’s ribbon cutting ceremony, there was a reception that featured a variety of Fair Trade chocolate, coffee and other items courtesy of Whole Foods.

And, also in attendance, were Mayor Bill Bogaard, City Councilmember Jacque Robinson and Norm Thomas of the Pasadena-based Ten Thousand Villages fair trade shop.

“Fair Trade was not known very well seven years ago when we started the Ten Thousand Villages store here in Pasadena. Few people knew of it,” Thomas said. “Now, seven years later, we find people coming to our store increasingly aware of Fair Trade, increasingly wanting to find Fair Trade products.”

Pasadena became the 31st Fair Trade in America, joining cities like San Francisco, Milwaukee, Chicago and Boston, according to a statement read at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“By keeping the movement alive, your efforts are drastically changing the lives of farmers, workers and artisans in emerging countries and giving them the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty and secure a more promising future for their families,” read the statement.

“We’re bringing a new dimension to the economy of Pasadena. All of us here today are committed to that and many, many others,” added Bogaard. “I think it should be recognized as a very important and valuable opportunity for good values and good business to be pursued in Pasadena.

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