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by Carrie Hawthorne, Director, Partners for Just Trade

Partners for Just Trade (PJT) is a non-profit organization based in St. Louis that connects producers from Peru, Cameroon, and Nicaragua with consumers in the States. PJT was fortunate enough to visit Peace Coffee this past spring with two of our Peruvian artisans, Ayde Riveros and Evangelina Pizarro during our Fair Trade tour, Resonating Change: Connecting Communities through Fair Trade.

While the visit was definitely too quick (a brief 24 hours), we enjoyed seeing Peace Coffee's operations, eating ice cream at the Birchwood Café and participating in a great talk at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. It was valuable for Ayde and Eva to observe a different side to Fair Trade, too. After only experiencing the handcraft perspective of Fair Trade in Peru, the visit helped to awaken their understanding that they are a part of an international, multi-industry movement (that is growing each year – woohoo!).

As we enter into the holiday season, I think it's important for us as consumers to comprehend this same idea. As a supporter of Peace Coffee, you are already a committed purchaser of Fair Trade coffee but perhaps you haven't yet bridged your support of Fair Trade beyond coffee and into other areas of your life. We realize it’s a bit more challenging to find other Fair Trade products so our friends at Peace Coffee asked us to share some gift ideas for you this holiday season. So here's what we think is hot this season at PJT...

Funky Monkey ($23) – these goofy stuffed animals will put a smile on anyone's face regardless of their age. The friendly goofballs are available in four colors, and we offer an organic monkey too (he does yoga!). Ima Sumacc, Lima, Peru. View other children's gifts here.

Yauli Chullo ($25) – Comfort, style and warmth pretty much sum up this hand-knit alpaca hat made by artisans at 13,000 feet in the Andes. Tupaq Yupanqui, Yauli, Peru. View other alpaca products here.

Shipibo Meets the City Lid ($20) – This isn't meant to keep you warm, but you sure will be stylin' when you wear this hat adorned with Shipibo fabric. Shipibo is hand-drawn fabric and said to be an interpretation of the songs sung by shamans during Shipibo spiritual ceremonies. The motifs are inspired by the anaconda serpent deity, who the Shipibo believe sang all forms into existence at the beginning of time. Emady, Lima, Peru. View other Shipibo products here.

Ducuale Party Set ($40) – Because we know Peace Coffee drinkers are a fun bunch, this ceramic bowl and appetizer server is a great (and useful) gift. Oh yeah, and we also bet you like to drink coffee, so consider purchasing this simple and comfortable mug too. Ducuale Grande, Condega, Nicaragua. Our ceramics are microwave and oven safe. View other Ducuale ceramics here.

Dancing Manta Pendant ($41) – This handmade, sterling silver piece is stunning, unique, and bound to get a compliment. Munay Rumi, Lima, Peru. View other sterling silver jewelry here.

Dried Fruit ($6) – Nothing says stocking stuffer like our Fair Trade fruit from Cameroon. It's healthy and one bite sends you off to fruit heaven. Available in pineapple, mango, banana, papaya and a tropical mix. GIC L'Esperance, Njombe Penja, Cameroon.

To view and purchase our products, please visit For 15% off all orders over $50, enter the code PCROCKS at checkout.

A little food for thought that we'll leave you with: Based on research that we’ve done, our jewelry makers and knitters selling through the usual commercial channels receive only 1 to 5 cents of the retail dollar. This seems weird that she doesn’t then say what they get working w/ PJT… We believe this percentage is representative of what producers are paid for most conventionally traded goods. So don't monkey around this holiday season, shop Fair Trade!

Peace out,

PS Join us on Facebook for other gift ideas, discounts and news on Fair Trade.

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