Let’s Talk Fair Trade with WUSC Glendon

 Photo: Amanda Jose

Photo: Amanda Jose

WUSC Glendon is excited to end the year with an event all about the Fair Trade movement. We will be breaking down the who, what, where and how behind the concept of Fair Trade. On March 28, from 7 to 9pm, join the WUSC Glendon team in the skyroom for our first ever Uniterra Symposium: Fair Trade and Global Reach. We will discuss the ethics of consumption with WUSC Glendon, alongside Glendon professor Elaine Coburn, and Project Manager of Equifruit Inc. Michelle Gubbels. We will talk about why we should, as consumers, care about the origin of the goods that we buy, and how we can make a change in the world we live in.

We will cover topics ranging from the environmental effects to the social effects of mass consumption. Some environmental issues that will be discussed include the waste that occurs on a large scale, the pollution filling the oceans, and the depletion of natural ressources for the purpose of production and manufacturing of goods. Not only is the ocean quickly filling up with our debris, but so is the land that we walk on. As for social consequences of mass consumption, we will look at the unsafe working conditions, generally in the Global South. However, unsafe work also occurs in North America; WUSC Glendon has done work with refugees and immigrants who work in unsafe, unregulated jobs upon their arrival in a new country.

Vulnerable people are more likely to be exploited due to language barriers, poverty, and their lack of awareness of the laws and regulations that are in place to protect them. These are the people who make the products that we buy, and collect the materials to build/manufacture those products. One of our speakers, Michelle Gubbels of Equifruit, was exposed to harmful pesticides whilst working in a field, picking the fruits and vegetables that we take for granted. We may not be aware of the working circumstances of those picking our beloved avocados and bananas.

We buy things mindlessly, with little concern for those who made them, little knowledge about the conditions they were made in, and the environmental impact of the whole process. If any of these concerns sound like issues you wish to see discussed more, or if you just simply want a chance to meet our speakers or the WUSC Glendon team, then join us March 28 at 7pm in the Skyroom.