Capstone Promotes Fair Trade Movement

Coffee, tea candy and chocolates are enjoyable to eat usually, but knowing that products are Fair Trade approved is extra sweet.

The Senior Capstone Group of Kiara DiLoreto, Clare Kneblik, Gabriela Torres-Winburn, and Blake Wogoman helped students after exams last month by handing out items from a Fair Trade exam package.

“We came up with this idea when Mrs. Bardine, our mentor, mentioned a website that had a Fair Trade exam package,” Wogoman shared. “We submitted that we were going to use the package for our Capstone Project after our winter exams and we received the package a few weeks later. It included information packets about Fair Trade, chocolate, fruit flavored candy, buttons, pins, coffee, and tea!”

Torres-Winburn added, “It was also a wonderful way to bring the Fair Trade movement to the attention of those who may not know it even exists.”

Most group members said they became interested in promoting Fair Trade after learning more about projects implemented by previous Capstone Groups.

“I became interested in Fair Trade by listening to the Capstone group from the previous year at the Stang Symposium,” DiLoreto explained. “I had heard about Fair Trade but did not know very much about the topic and desired to learn more. I began to see ways in which I could support Fair Trade by simply buying alternative Fair Trade products. I thought that it would be a good idea to inform people about these alternative products that they could invest in while supporting the workers who are involved.”

Kneblik agreed, “When I talked to other students who knew more about it, I learned that it involved equal and fair pay/working conditions for all employees, and I was immediately interested in trying to make it a more well-known topic!”

The Capstone Group is planning on continuing the promotion of Fair Trade throughout the school year.

“We have a lot of ideas for our Capstone that are still in the works, but I know we were really working to get an item in the Spirit Shop that is Fair Trade to expand our Capstone to the greater CJ community and get more people knowing about Fair Trade,” Wogoman said.

“We are also planning to spread word about different brands that support Fair Trade when purchased to provide alternative options when shopping,” DiLoreto added.

When reflecting on the impact their group has made so far, Kneblik said, “I hope that students can specifically learn from our project what Fair Trade is and how much of an effect it has on workers. I didn't know about it or what it was until the end of my junior year, and through research I discovered that the Fair Trade movement is wildly popular around the world. I hope that through our Capstone project, students can understand and see the importance of Fair Trade in the workforce, as well as know how important it is to support it in the purchases that you make!”

Torres-Winburn agreed, “I hope other students are able to realize the things that are not advertised by companies and brands. I want students to make sure that places that they purchase their goods from exercise their morals. I also hope that students will join the Fair Trade movement and make more of an effort to promote it and educate themselves and others.”

Posted January 9, 2018