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Ten Thousand Villages take over Loyalist


Ten Thousand Village’s table of fair trade goods. Photo by Aynslee Darmon

By Aynslee Darmon [2] and Courtenay Modeste [3]

BELLEVILLE – Ten Thousand Villages [4] has come to Loyalist for the fourth year in a row, just in time for the holidays.

Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit program that creates opportunity for people in developing countries by selling handmade products for fair trade prices.

“All of the products that are here are handmade by people all over the world who have been paid fairly for their labour. The environment has also been taken into account. So, its essentially people and planet over profit.” says volunteer Rachael Currie.

Currie has been volunteering with Ten Thousand Villages for about five years, “I actually wrote my masters thesis paper on fair trade so I’ve been involved with fair trade for about 10 years and just watching the movement grow is amazing.”

Currie says this program really benefits the producers.

“They are getting a living wage and the workers get paid up front so they don’t have to shell out their own money and take a chance with the markets by guessing whether they can sell their stuff after they put out the money into producing it. There is a real fair and strong committed relationship with the producers and there are producers from all over the world.”

The program has a long list of products including handcrafted jewellery, home decor, food, and skin care products.

Ten Thousand Villages has stores all over Ontario including one in Cobourg and Picton and also do annual campus sales at Fleming College and Trent University in Peterborough as well as Queens University in Kingston.