Mankato celebrates 10 years as a Fair Trade town

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 7:50 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2021 at 10:17 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - There is a wide variety of products covered by the Fair Trade Standards, from fruits, vegetables, coffee, clothing, and more.

Each purchase of a Fair Trade product can make a difference for farmers and workers around the world.

Fair trade is an agreement between the company and the producer that the producers will be paid a fair price for their product.

“The buyer [company] then agrees to not practice in child or slave labor, protect the environment and have good working conditions,” Mankato Fair Trade Co-Chair Jane Dow said.

The agreement also includes an extra sum of money paid on top of the selling price to invest in business or community projects of their choice, a huge benefit in developing countries.

Products produced under Fair Trade standards can be identified through logos on the packaging.

Locally, Mankato celebrates 10 years as a Fair Trade Town, declared in 2011 thanks to the number of fair trade products sold in local stores and the use of fair trade products in local institutions, as well as the educational community outreach on fair trade.

“We started in 2009, in the beginning, we took a survey of what products were here in town to start with and there were about 13 products in about 14 stores. We now have 28 different products which is more than double, offered in stores, and we have 18 stores, shops and institutions that are carrying fair trade. We also have the first [fair trade] school in the U.S. Loyola (Catholic School) became a fair trade school in 2012,” said Dow.

Various stores carry fair trade products, such as Cub Foods, Aldi, The Coffee Hag and more.

Mankato Area Shopping Guide | Mankato Area Fair Trade Town Initiative (

To celebrate 10 years, an array of events is coming up:

  • Mankato Fair Trade Facebook Contest: Post fair trade items you find in the Mankato area. Prizes for the most unique ad the most posts.
  • Oct 15: 6:30 p.m. movie night at Grace Lutheran Church. Viewing of ‘The True Cost’ a documentary film focusing on fast fashion. (also available via zoom)
  • Oct 26: 4 Fair Trade Conversations at Minnesota State University, Mankato- Dr. Kristen Cvancara discusses her travels to Ghana and Myanmar to investigate and better understand fair trade practices. (also available via zoom)
  • Shop the Bazaars-shop fair trade clothing, accessories and household items from Global Mamas, Trama Textiles Coop and Liz Alig.
    • Oct 10: Grace Lutheran 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.
    • Oct 17: Messiah Lutheran 9:30 a.m.-10:30am & 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m
    • Oct 31: First Congregational UCC 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
    • Nov 7: Bethlehem Lutheran 10:00 a.m-11:00 a.m.

For more information, visit Mankato Area Fair Trade Town Initiative | Mankato, MN (

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