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Fair Trade at Tec-Voc

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Whether it's chocolate, coffee, rice or other products, North Americans enjoy the bounty of small-scale farmers every day.

But these farmers are often marginalized from these multi-billion dollar industries. The concept of fair trade is to support these small-scale farmers in developing countries; they can form cooperatives and vastly improve their working conditions and quality of life for their families.

Tec Voc High School held a Fair Trade Awareness Day on Jan. 10, part of an ongoing effort to become a fair trade certified school.

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Students learned about the concept of fair trade with their home room classmates, as well as being exposed to foods and recipes made with fair trade products.

"We feel it's very beneficial to support farmers in developing countries. These producers are offered a fair and livable wage to support their families," said Kathleen Mira, an Applied Technology and Commerce Teacher at Tec Voc. "This also helps students to realize that the small every day purchases they make can help change the world."

Fair trade practices can impact the producers of many high-volume consumer foods and other goods, such as chocolate, coffee, tea, coconut, bananas, cotton, rice, leather (clothing and sporting goods) and many other products.

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Tec Voc will continue to offer fair trade products at Stingers Store and the Vespa Coffee and Juice Bar. The school also has a committee of students and staff that will continue to help bring awareness to fair trade issues.

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For more information, visit www.fairtrade.ca .

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