Location:Home > slippers > Saratoga Fair Trade Market Expo offers opportunity to help

Saratoga Fair Trade Market Expo offers opportunity to help

Time:2016-12-07 04:36Shoes websites Click:

Help trade Fair offers market

Seeds for Peace founder Sue Johnson displays colorful animals made from recycled flip-flops during the Saratoga Fair Trade Market Expo on Saturday at the City Center.

Seeds for Peace founder Sue Johnson displays colorful animals made from recycled flip-flops during the Saratoga Fair Trade Market Expo on Saturday at the City Center. Paul Post — ppost@digitalfirstmedia.com

SARATOGA SPRINGS >> Tais Masala-Finale dreams of going back to her native Brazil and living in the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland, rich in wildlife.

PHOTOS: Saratoga Fair Trade Market Expo

She’s one of the many vendors who took part in the annual Saratoga Fair Trade Market Expo on Saturday, featuring food, crafts, jewelry and clothing from around the world.

Masala-Finale, like her husband, Alexander, is employed at GlobalFoundries, but has a year-old side business — Bon Bon Brazil NY — featuring specialty chocolates made at a commercial kitchen in Schuylerville.

Advertisement

“The dark chocolate comes from Columbia,” she said. “The others are blended. It’s all Fair Trade chocolate.”

In Brazil, many people have copied American traditions when it comes to celebrating Christmas — without the snow, of course.

“We eat turkey and exchange gifts,” said Masala-Finale. “Santa Claus is called Papai Noel. But instead of Christmas morning, people exchange gifts and eat a big dinner on Christmas Eve, close to midnight.”

Businesses and non-profits from throughout the Capital Region took part in the expo, held at Saratoga Springs City Center.

The Fair Trade movement’s goal is to empower people in developing nations by giving them higher prices for the goods they produce, so they can have sustainable businesses.

Sue Johnson, of Saratoga Springs, founded the non-profit Seeds for Peace almost 20 years ago, which helps people in several African countries in addition to promoting urban gardens in U.S. cities from Los Angeles to The Bronx.

“We just got into Nepal,” Johnson said. “A lot of our contacts are made through social media. It’s all volunteer. Every penny is used for purchasing seed and making shipments.”

The Colorado-based firm, Lake Valley Seed, recently donated a large supply of seeds for the project.

To help raise money, Seeds for Peace sells unique, multi-colored toy animals made from thousands of recycled flip-flops that wash up on the shores of East Africa each year. They’re made by another non-profit called Ocean Sole, which provides much-needed jobs in places such as Nairobi, Kenya, in addition to remote coastal areas.

Flip-flops are one of the worst marine pollutants in the Indian Ocean.

In an Ocean Sole brochure, employee Eric Mwandola, who makes artistic rhinoceros, said: “I was not able to afford shoes and had to borrow some to come to Nairobi to find work. I can now afford to send my two children to secondary school and feed and clothe them as well.”

Thaisa Beach, of Colonie, staffed a table offering a variety of colorful quilted products made in Vietnam.

Beach’s friend, Mai Thi Ung, fled Vietnam to escape the Viet Cong and came to the U.S.

Later, she went back to help her people by starting a firm called Tender Quilt, in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).

“It teaches a craft to street people and handicapped young people so they have job skills,” Beach said. “They’re also taught family living and English as a second language. All the money is used for schools and medical care.”

underwearwine

Copyright infringement? Click Here!