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College Students Develop a Fair Trade Marketplace Project

Release Date: 2/7/2014

CONTACT: Sylvia Blair
Executive Assistant to the President
Carroll Community College

Carroll Community College Students Develop a Fair Trade Marketplace Project

Westminster, Md., —Business and marketing students at Carroll Community College (Carroll) will develop and lead a service project with SERRV International (SERRV) this spring semester. They will become active partners in the movement to eradicate poverty in other nations by advocating for fair trade. Students who are members of Carroll’s Leaders, Investors and Entrepreneurs Academic Community will also participate in the project.

SERRV is dedicated to eradicating poverty through working with thousands of small-scale artisans and farmers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other developing regions of the world by marketing their handcrafts and foods. Through their work with community-based organizations in more than 30 countries, SERRV creates economic opportunity so these artisans and farmers can support their families and themselves.

According to Fair Trade U.S.A., “from far-away farms to your shopping cart….fair trade products come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated…farmers in developing countries receive help to build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities….and tradesmen and women are taught how to use the free market to their advantage.”

Throughout the spring semester, Carroll students will host a visit from a SERRV representative to the classroom. On Feb. 28, they will volunteer at SERRV to package materials from global artisans.

In addition, students will choose fair trade objects from the SERRV catalog to sell on campus during a consignment sale on May 7 in the college’s Great Hall. The class members will create marketing campaigns about the consignment sale to post on campus, assist in the organization of products for sale, and staff the consignment event.

Ninety percent of the proceeds from the sale will go directly to SERRV, while the remaining 10 percent will benefit the Carroll Community College Foundation, which assists with student scholarships and other initiatives.

“The time is ripe for a project like this one,” said Coordinator of Experiential Learning and Student Organizations Heather Diehl. “This project blends aspects of service-learning, cultural diversity, and classroom learning into an outstanding opportunity for students.”

Coordinator of Business and Accounting Nancy Kimble said that students will practice marketing and business principles, while learning about fair trade. “Students will have the opportunity to give back as volunteers and will gain real-world experience with a hands-on project. The work that students will do is very meaningful and allows them to expand the college relationship with an organization like SERRV.”

“I am exceedingly proud of our students who are making a great effort to understand a global issue like poverty. I am pleased to see that they are working to make a difference on behalf of our less fortunate citizens,” said College President Dr. Faye Pappalardo.

“Our students are showing that they are important contributors to combating real issues within our community and in our world,” said College Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. James Ball. “Our students are putting their education to use in a practical way to benefit others who do not share the same life advantages that they do.”

Note to the Media: For best response to your inquiries, please call Sylvia Blair at 410-386-8411 or e-mail


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