Fair Trade Edmonton 

Promoting ethical purchasing relations

May 9th, 2015   10:45-1pm


Princess Theatre 10337 82 ave 

World Fair Trade Day in Edmonton

Sponsored by: 

(in alphabetical order):

Avenue Magazine

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

City of Edmonton

Half Design

Make Poverty History - University of Alberta

Mountain Equipment Co-op

Princess Theatre – Edmonton

Ten Thousand Villages  Edmonton

Panelists include Brad Clute, Micheal Zelmer & Valantina Amalraj

Brad Clute: 

Brad Clute is Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Regional Sustainability and Community Coordinator for Western Canada. Under Brad’s leadership MEC sustainability programs have won numerous awards including a provincial Emerald Award and a Calgary Award both for corporate environmental achievement, as well as a Better Business Bureau Business Ethics Award. Their sustainability programs are an example of how businesses can both prosper and have a positive impact on the community and the planet.

Brad is also governance director of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education and past president of the Calgary Area Outdoor Council. He regularly serves on advisory committees for both government and the non-profit sector, and has recently completed a term on the steering committee for Calgary’s Economic Development Network.

Brad believes that business, when done ethically, can be a powerful tool for positive change in the community, and he’s dedicated to proving it. He also believes that if you rarely clean out or unload your car, you’ll be prepared for anything. His loving and patient wife disagrees.

Micheal Zelmer: 

Michael is a member of the Canadian Fair Trade Network Advisory Council and the former Director of Communications for Fairtrade Canada. His experience in Fair Trade began in 2001 through his involvement with Oxfam Canada and as Co-Chair of the Vancouver Fair Trade Coffee Network (VFTCN), an alliance of individuals, churches, businesses, NGOs, and unions that had been working to increase demand for Fair Trade coffee since 1997.

Michael’s early work focused on consumer education but soon after included an additional focus on institutional purchasing and engagement. He has worked on several Ethical Purchasing initiatives, including the City of Vancouver’s Ethical Purchasing Policy, and has delivered well over a hundred workshops and presentations on Fair Trade over the past 15 years.

In December 2005, Michael published his master’s thesis on the significance of the Fair Trade and organic markets to the protection of forested ecosystems on Nicaraguan coffee farms, and was recognized by Fairtrade Canada in 2007 as one of the ten most influential pioneers in Canadian Fair Trade.

Valantina Amalraj, B.Sc., J.D.

Valantina is an Edmonton lawyer with a strong interest in the intersection between international trade/investment and human rights/development. She recently completed her Masters in Law at Columbia University where she specialized on this topic. Her thesis was entitled, 'Corporate social responsibility, labor rights, and the cocoa trade in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Previously, she was involved with Edmonton's campaign to become a Fair Trade Town and has spoken about Fairtrade at over a dozen conferences and over fifty events. She also completed a yearlong pro bono project for Engineers Without Borders Canada on the legal prospects and limitations of holding Canadian corporations accountable in Canada for grievous human rights violations overseas, and won the Sheldon Chumir Prize for a legal paper on linking labor standards to trade instruments. The cocoa trade is what sparked her interest in these topics 8 years ago.