As board president of the nonprofit, Fond du Lac-based, Just Fare Market community effort, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumna Anne Lemke ’07, has a lot to celebrate this Earth Week.
Incorporated in 2007, the faith-based organization improves lives through global partnerships and Fair Trade.
“I feel so blessed and rewarded by my work at Just Fare Market,” said Lemke, who works full-time as the project manager for economic and workforce development at Moraine Park Technical College. “With a strong sense of social justice and stewardship as defining values in my life, Fair Trade is the perfect way for me to help make a difference around the globe. We are truly helping change lives all over the world.”
Just Fare Market educates the community about the benefits of fair trade; encourages people to be more mindful of where and by whom the products they buy and consume are produced; and provides an outlet to market Fair Trade handicrafts, clothing and food products created by artisans and farmers in developing countries.
In 2011, Just Fare was accepted into the Fair Trade Federation, an association of North American retailers and importers who are committed to Fair Trade principles.
Over the past couple of years, Just Fare has collaborated on some Fair Trade events with UW Oshkosh students and the University’s Environmental Studies director David Barnhill. “Since UWO is the first Fair Trade University, this is a great partnership to work on strengthening,” Lemke said.
On May 9, the citizens of Fond du Lac will celebrate their community becoming the third Fair Trade Town in Wisconsin (just behind Madison and Milwaukee) and the 32nd in the United States. A ribbon-cutting event will take place at 9 a.m. at the Government Center on South Macy Street.
“Fair Trade Towns USA provides tools and resources to help towns and cities achieve Fair Trade Status and work toward the common goal of making Fair Trade products the norm in the U.S., one community at a time,” explained Lemke, who served on Fond du Lac’s steering committee for the effort.
To be recognized as a Fair Trade Town, the steering committee worked to meet a number of requirements, including the passage of a resolution of support by the Fond du Lac City Council; identifying at least eight local cafes and stores that sell at least two Fair Trade products; and identifying at least eight community organizations that use or sell Fair Trade products.
“Our communities play a crucial role in growing the Fair Trade Movement in the U.S.,” Lemke said. “The U.S. Fair Trade Town campaigns bring together community members, retailers, community organizations and town government to build awareness of Fair Trade and achieve special recognition for their efforts.”