“This led to once-a-year weekend events at the old gymnasium on Franklyn St. where Global Village and other like-minded groups all sold items there. Profits from these events were saved to purchase more products in hopes of one day opening a store.
GVN opens seasonal stores twice a year in various locations in the spring and again in the fall where shoppers can acquire unique, often hard-to-find holiday gifts.
GVN also has a online store all year round.
Fairtrade producers in about 30 countries have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in prepaid payments from GVN over the past quarter century, Hiemstra said.
She encourages fair trade products to be available in a growing number of stores on Vancouver Island, which GVN helps source and source for the private sector.
“It brought awareness to the fact that there are alternatives to shopping, there’s an ability and an option to think about what you’re buying and think about the impact that has.”
Hiemstra said GVN is celebrating 25 years by connecting with current and past volunteers and plans to host an event for them later this year.
She said they are also using the anniversary celebration to promote her 10 principles of fair trade to the wider community, including the prohibition of child labor and forced labor, transparency and accountability and the respect of environment.
Supporting GVN cooperatives and individual growers has taken on even greater significance with the pandemic wiping out local tourism-related sales, Hiemstra said.
“They’ve lost a lot of their ability to sell anything, anywhere. At this point, as we start to prepare some of our orders again, we get phone calls and requests from them to place orders, they want to get back to work. »
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