May 12 is World Fair Trade Day. The last year has been a notable one for Mankato.
On Oct. 24, 2011 the City Council declared Mankato a Fair Trade Town according to the criteria of the Fair Trade Towns USA campaign — the first in Minnesota and the 25th in the nation.
This month Loyola Catholic School has helped cement Mankato’s Fair Trade profile through becoming the first Fair Trade school in Minnesota and the first K-12 Fair Trade school in the U.S. Congratulations, Loyola!
These are significant milestones though they represent only the beginning of raising public awareness about the fact that how we spend our money affects the life chances of small farmers and artisans living in the Global South.
Loyola’s Marissa Lee was reported in The Free Press on May 10 as saying: “We want to make it (i.e. Fair Trade) bigger than the school.” Mankato Area Fair Trade Town Initiative echoes that entirely and hopes that Fair Trade initiatives will continue to be taken — in more schools, churches, shops, service organizations and businesses — through 2012 and beyond.