Jennifer Legler, Store Manger of Ten Thousand Villages Pittsburgh. Jennifer started working with Ten Thousand Villages as a volunteer in 2006 before being hired as the volunteer coordinator in 2007. She holds a bachelor degree in Environmental Studies and a Master of Public Administration focused on Urban and Regional Affairs. She became interested in non-profit work while attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. Fair Trade is important to her because it creates opportunities in populations that otherwise have no access to the world market. By providing employment it empowers communities and allows them to make lasting changes in their neighborhoods.
What is fair trade? As fair trade becomes more of a buzz word we will seek to determine what fair trade really means in practice. To do so we will look at the principles outlined by the World Fair Trade Organization, contrast those principles with free trade and its impacts, and relate them to artisans’ experiences and stories. Using Ten Thousand Villages as a case study we will discover the impact fair trade can have on empowering women, growing communities, improving health and education, and preserving cultural traditions in developing countries. Finally, we will provide a list of fair trade resources for both education and products.