Stearns Farm and FairTrade Caravans, a social enterprise that supports non-profits through sales of fair trade products, are piloting a partnership to raise funds for the farm by making sustainable food products from developing countries available to sharers.

Sharers will be able to buy select food products from the FairTrade Caravans website and pick them up at the farm during four weeks this summer. Stearns Farm will receive 25% of the sales.

“Partnering with FairTrade Caravans allows us to extend our commitment to farming sustainably far beyond our own region,” says Nomi Sofer, president of the Stearns Farm Board of Directors. “We are very pleased to have this opportunity to connect our sharers to other small farmers all over the globe.”

The products for sale through our partnership are not available locally, including chocolate, coffee, tea, some dried fruits, heirloom rice, and spices. “As a non profit and an organization that cares about the land that food is grown on, how food is grown and who grows it, we think Stearns Farm CSA is a great match for our non-local fair trade products that people buy and use everyday,” says Carol Fassino, FairTrade Caravans founder and a Framingham resident.

Sharers can begin placing orders directly on the FairTrade Caravans website using the code STEARNS. Carol will deliver the orders on the following planned pickup dates: 6/19, 6/22, 7/17, 7/20, 8/28, 8/31, 9/18, and 9/21. You can buy anytime and get your products the next time Carol is at the farm.

In addition, Carol plans to visit the farm on other pickups days to sell products onsite and answer questions from sharers (Mel and Ember will not be involved in any aspect of managing this program).

“We are very mindful of how hard our farm crew work, and Carol helped us design the program so that it has minimal impact on the staff,” said Nomi. FairTrade Caravans has also partnered with Sudbury Valley Trustees, which owns the Stearns Farm land.

Fair trade purchases support farmers and artisans in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. “These producers often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods,” says Carol. “Fair trade purchases lead to fair pay and working conditions for vulnerable producers, protects children and encourages environmental sustainability.”