Greyston Bakery makes the brownie bites in Ben & Jerry’s delicious ice cream. Yep. Mic drop. But their business and working practices are equally eye-opening, and demonstrate how a commitment to fairness can help both you, and your community, to thrive. Greyston’s open hiring policy means they provide employment without prejudice, regardless of background or work history.
Take Dion for example, when no one else would employ him he turned to Greyston, added his name to the list, and got the call. Through working for Greyston, Dion went from being an “ex-drug dealer and convict” to a “Greyston Bakery Supervisor and Father”.
Greyston strive to source the best, most fairly-produced ingredients, believing their products should make a difference from start to finish.
In Belize, sugar cane farming accounts for the livelihood of as much as a seventh of its population, and often those working in the Sugar Belt are among the most impoverished. It can be precarious work, beholden to the elements, demanding significant expertise and understanding to sustain production.
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association gained Fairtrade Certification in 2008 and through careful investment, support and education the industry has been able to endure tough economic and physical circumstances, to become stronger and more future proof.
The Fairtrade Premiums have also afforded farmers like Rudelia Vasquez opportunities such as a scholarship so that she can afford her grandson’s school fees and buy him a uniform, books and shoes.
UCLA has produced heroes - Jack Black, Jim Morrison, James Dean(!) - but our favorite has to be Karina. You might not have heard of her, but she’s been instrumental in transforming the university into a Fair Trade Campus. Karina could see the desire for social justice in her fellow students but knew they needed a leader.
“Whenever I’d have conversations about fair trade with students who didn’t know about it, their eyes would open up,” she said. “I knew that if I could spread the word enough, students would demand change.”
Karina set to ticking off the five steps to getting a designated Fair Trade Campaign:
Nowadays UCLA is the biggest Fair Trade Campus in the USA! BOOM. But Karina wants more, and won’t rest until there’s Fairtrade coffee as standard in every cafe on campus. “I’m excited to see the campaign continue to grow,” she said. So are we, Karina.