FAIR TRADE FEST: Open House Chicago Fair Trade
Each year, Chicago Fair Trade organizes the biggest World Fair Trade Day celebration in the US, and this year is no exception! Join us for our Fair Trade Fest at the newly-opened Chicago Fair Trade Museum, which will include craft demos, tasting sessions, and lively discussions led by fair trade experts. You can also browse our museum exhibits, shop for ethical and sustainable items in our fair trade store, and take part in a whole range of fair trade games, prizes, giveaways, and more!
This event is free and open to all. However, as a non-profit organization, Chicago Fair Trade and our Museum relies on donations to make events like these happen. If you are willing and able to book a ticket with a $23 donation, we will thank you with a complimentary fair trade swag bag, including Chicago Fair Trade coffee and other fair trade goodies! Participating bakers in our Great Fair Trade Bake-Off will also receive a complimentary swag bag.
Here’s what we have planned for the day:
1:00 From Palm to Table: A Colombian Weaving Workshop led by Ana Maria Marquez of Ochabe.
Learn all about Ana Maria’s fascinating work with the talented Indigenous women weavers of her hometown, the village of Usiacurí in Colombia, who weave beautiful, artisanal accessories and homeware from locally sourced Iraca palm leaves. Then, learn how to weave a coaster yourself! Please note: weaving materials are limited and will be handed out on a first- come, first served basis.
2:00 The Great Fair Trade Bake-Off with guest judges Jerome “Paul” McDonnell, Monica “Prue” Eng, and Tamiz “Noel” Haiderali
Celebrate how delicious it is to bake using fair trade ingredients at our Great Fair Trade Bake-Off! Bring in your best bakes to showcase your talent and compete against fellow baking enthusiasts, then watch as our panel taste-tests your creations and gives their expert feedback. You’ll then have a chance to buy a slice yourself to raise money for Chicago Fair Trade, our small but mighty non-profit that works to promote ethical and sustainable businesses across Chicagoland. *Interested in taking part? Learn more and sign up here. Participating bakers receive a fair trade swag bag.
3:00 Brewing Change: Transforming the Tea Industry One Cup at a Time with Amelia Cochran and Giorgia Fiorani
Sip on a cup of refreshing fair trade tea as you immerse yourself in this interactive session led by DePaul University’s Amelia Cochran and Giorgia Fiorani, students of Dr. Howard Rosing’s Food Justice Course. Discover the fascinating and complex history of the tea trade, learn about the environmental and social issues confronting the industry today, and learn how you can make a positive impact on farmers and the environment, one cup at a time.
4:00 Knit for Justice: A Hands-On Handcrafting Workshop with Kristine Brandel
Take part in our Chicago-Chakouri Knitting project in solidarity with the talented women knitters of Himalayan Naari, a fair trade craft cooperative in Chakouri, India. Discover why traditional handcrafting techniques, so often dismissed as a relic of the past, are in fact key to the future of sustainable production. Then, try out the techniques for yourself with the guidance of knitting extraordinaire Kristine Brandel! Please note, knitting materials are limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
5:00 Around the World in Fair Trade Chocolate: A Bean-to-Bar Tasting Exploration
Join us for a journey around the globe to explore the diversity and deliciousness of ethically and sustainably sourced chocolate. With Melissa Olivares Breen, co-founder of Chicago-based ZACHI Chocolates, as our guide, we’ll learn about the unique characteristics of cacao beans grown in different regions and soil types. You’ll gain expert tips on how to become a skilled chocolate taster and discover the benefits of supporting fair trade practices in the chocolate industry.
6:00 Fair Trade Wine Hour: A Co-operative Celebration with Dan Arnett
Join us for an hour of sipping and learning as Dan Arnett, the Board President of Fairtrade America and General Manager of Chicago Market, guides us through the wonderful world of fair trade wine co-operatives. Discover the story of La Riojana, a pioneering Fairtrade-certified co-operative in Argentina’s beautiful Famatina Valley, and other co-operative wineries that prioritize ethical and sustainable practices. Savor the flavors and raise a glass to the cooperative communities who make it possible for us to drink responsibly!