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Local fair trade group changes name

What's in a name, anyway?

For the Fair Trade Delmar campaign, enough to make a change. The group is changing its monicker to Fair Trade Bethlehem.

It makes it more inclusive, said organizer Anna McMahon. "The campaign is for all of Bethlehem, not just Delmar.

The campaign has been working to have Bethlehem designated as a Fair Trade Town, which is bestowed by the Fair Trade Towns USA group. Most of the qualifications have been met, but the Town Board needs to pass a resolution in support of fair trade.

The campaign has been before the town before, but members were reticent to pass a resolution without ensuring the town's business community was behind the movement. McMahon said the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce does not typically take a stance on such issues, so she and other campaign members will continue to petition the Town Board.

The Village of Ballston Spa remains the only Fair Trade Town in the state. Fair trade items are those that are guaranteed to provide a living wage to the product's makers. Common items include coffee and chocolate, which are usually grown in poor countries.

The campaign is also gearing up for October, which is Fair Trade Month. The campaign plans to be at the Delmar Farmers Market once again, and will focus on raising awareness of the availability fair trade chocolate products in light of the approaching Halloween holiday.

Similarly, there will be a screening of the documentary movie "The Dark Side of Chocolate" at the Bethlehem Public Library Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. The 45-minute film highlighting the prevalence of child labor in the cocoa and chocolate industry will be followed by a discussion session.""

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