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Source: Katie Whitney, 785-539-8763,

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009


MANHATTAN -- A special marketplace at Kansas State University will offer shoppers a chance to get a head start on their holiday shopping and improve the lives of artisans from around the world.

The fourth annual K-State Fair Trade Marketplace will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, and Thursday, Nov. 19, in the courtyard at the K-State Student Union. The marketplace, which is open to the public, is sponsored by UFM Community Learning Center and K-State Fair Trade Advocates. It features quality-made products from impoverished countries. Items available will include handmade jewelry, clothing, coffee, greeting cards, handbags, home decor and more.

Fair trade makes it possible for disadvantaged workers and producers from around the world to earn fair wages by selling their products at marketplaces like the one upcoming at K-State, according to Stephanie Alderman-Oler, senior in secondary education, Olathe, and president of K-State Fair Trade Advocates.

"Anyone who takes the time to stop by the marketplace will be leaving with something new -- whether it is a new scarf, some chocolate or more knowledge about what the fair trade movement is all about," Alderman-Oler said.

Worldwide, approximately 2.7 billion people live on less than $2 a day, Alderman-Oler said.

"Of these people, many are willing and able to work; however, the opportunity to make a living wage is lacking," she said. "Fair trade has become an organized social movement promoting environmental standards, healthy working conditions and the payment of fair prices to workers in developing countries."

More information on the K-State Fair Trade Marketplace is available at