Sunday, July 17, 2011

How Aware Are We?

Hi it's Ginger!

As you may have noticed many people seem to lack awareness of Fair Trade.  I myself wasn't very aware until I went to Dominican Republic and saw all the factories from both sides (shopper and worker). 

Caroline and I took this into account when we went educating younger girls (in eliminatory school girls in girls scout troops) about Fair Trade. Before giving our lesson we gave out a True or False questionnaire of five question. They included the following.

1. Fair Trade is a charity  T   F
2. Fair Trade makes things expensive  T  F
3. Fair Trade and Organic have the same meaning   T  F
4. Fair Trade only effects people in poor places    T   F
5. When I buy something in a store it doesn't affect someone somewhere else T  F

After we went over the answers on the questionnaire i collected some of them back to see the results. Most of the girls admitted that they had guessed out of most of them and didn't really know what Fair Trade was at all. Out of the ones I took back to look at, none of the girls got 100% correct. 

I asked the girls if they had ever heard of Fair Trade and depending upon the group (usually around 15 girls per group) one or two had heard the term Fair Trade.

Thinking the results I found from the questionnaire and just asking the troops questions was because they were younger I took trying to educate youth with more lessens. 
To my surprise I was wrong about unawareness due to age.
When going to Fair Trade places and asking the workers what products were Fair Trade many of the workers did not know what it was either. Many workers didn't know which products in the store were Fair Trade or after reciting the items in stock to us they would ask what Fair Trade was. 

Considering that the goal or Fair Trade is to get people to buy Fair Trade items- it is a problem that people don't know what Fair Trade is.  I hope this blog showed you how so many people are unaware of Fair Trade. 
The only way to get people to be Fair Trade savvy is to get people to know what it is in the first place.  
It is up to us to spread awareness to everyone.