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The precursor of MAFTTI was the Churches' Fair Trade Network. It was this group that hosted the visit of Eva Pizarro and Ayde Riveros, cooperative workers from Peru, to Mankato in May 2009. Look at the Photo Gallery. The following month MAFTTI was formed.
During MAFTTI's first year, Mankato area churches in which Fair Trade coffee was being used were asked to make institutional commitments to Fair Trade. Largely following the criteria for Fair Trade Churches drawn up by the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK, MAFTTI asks that churches commit to:
1. Use only Fair Trade Certified coffee after services and in all meetings for which the church is responsible.
2. Move forward on using other Fair Trade products (e.g. chocolate, cocoa, tea).
3. Promote Fair Trade during Fair Trade Fortnight (end of April into early May), Fair Trade Month (October) and at other times through events, worship and the selling of Fair Trade Certified products.
The following made this commitment using their respective consultative procedures and, in MAFTTI's eyes, are considered to be "Fair Trade Churches":
St. John's Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Centenary United Methodist, Bethlehem Lutheran, Grace Lutheran, First Congregational/UCC, Christ the King Lutheran Church, all in Mankato.
Hope Interfaith Center, Mankato, made a similar commitment and is recognized as a "Fair Trade Place of Worship".
MAFTTI is currently broadening the base of community support for the Fair Trade Town idea.