A portal into ethical and just business

I already knew Nitsa. I had met her a year ago through friends, during a shared meal in Petralona. She had impressed me with how strongly she supported Amnesty International, especially since such diligence toward altruistic causes is so exhausting in today’s apathetic world. A year later, I noticed that she had lost neither her spirit nor her passion for altruism. And she is practicing what she preaches. This time, I meet Nitsa in the three-month-old Altromercato store at 30 Nikis Street in Syntagma, the first fair trade store in Greece. Stocking items such as organic foods, chocolate, coffee, tea, natural cosmetics and ecological clothing, the store subscribes to the fair trade belief that this alternative way of commerce can reduce poverty and nurture the marginalized producers in developing countries. The products in the Syntagma store come into the country in cooperation with Italy’s CTM Altromercato, a consortium which operates about 400 stores. In fair trade, there is no multinational firm serving as a middleman and charging exorbitant fees. Instead, marginalized producers in developing countries are getting paid decently because CTM Altromercato merely distributes their products to fair trade stores. When the products are sold, the profits do not remain with the stores. Instead, the money goes back to the countries where they were produced. Schools and hospitals are a couple of institutions which benefit from fair trade.