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Alternative trade is a relatively recent movement of artisans, importers and retailers which brings the handcrafted products of artisans in the third world to consumers in the U.S. and Europe. The goal is two-fold: to provide increased economic opportunity to artisans by bypassing middlemen and penetrating the cultural, political, economic, and environmental situation of the artisans, their communities and their nations.

This paper deals primarily with the educational aspect of alternative trade. It examines the current reality of the global andicraft trade and the existing knowledge of U.S. consumers about the third world and International development issues. The paper proposes numerous educational strategies which alternative trading organizations (ATOs) can use to bolster public awareness about these issues. A case study of one ATO, which trades with the East African nation of Kenya, is included. It is argues that alternative trade can make a unique and meaningful contribution both to reforming the practices of global trade and to fostering international understanding, cooperation and development.



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