Monthly Archives: June 2008

Blackwell’s Organic Gelato Sources Fair Trade Ingredients


Blackwell’s Organic is the First and Only Frozen Dessert Company to Have At Least One Fair Trade Certified Ingredient in Every Flavor.

Blackwell’s Organic Gelato and Sorbetto has partnered with TransFair USA to exhibit within their booth #5463 at the 2008 Fancy Food Show in NYC. TransFair USA is the nation’s only independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified products and Blackwell’s Organic is the only frozen dessert company that has at least one Fair Trade Certified ingredient in every flavor. (more…)

Oikocredit: Socially Responsible Investments


The experience of Oikocredit shows how financial and social returns of investments do not need to be exclusive: Once a pioneer in the field of development financing, Oikocredit is today recognized as one of the largest financiers of microfinance world wide and one of the few ethical investment funds, privately financed by around 600 institutions and 30,000 individual investors from all over the world. Oikocredit believes that providing poor people with credit can help them building themselves a better life. (more…)

European Sales of Organic and Fair Trade Fresh Produce Exceeded the EUR 5 Billion Mark in 2007 As Ethical Consumerism Increases to Grow

- Red Orbit, TX

Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the “The European Market for Ethical Fruit & Vegetables: Organic and Fairtrade” report to their offering.

This report on The European Market for Ethical Fruit & Vegetables is the first-ever study that examines the organic and fair trade sectors of the fresh produce industry. This report gives a comprehensive analysis and forecasts for the leading fresh fruit & vegetable product categories in this emerging market. Expert analysis and strategic recommendations are provided to existing producers, new entrants and investors. (more…)

Fair Trade Plus

- Madison Magazine, WI

The values of good, clean and fair that form the foundation of the Slow Food movement embody founder Carlo Petrini’s vision for the preservation of regional cuisines and food traditions. The vision also includes the critical element of biodiversity, but it reaches its apex when it includes the diversity of human resources as well. It is Marco Ferrero’s passion and commitment to that diversity that makes his Pausa Café project so significant. (more…)

Black gold: How Fairtrade put the cream into Uganda’s coffee

- Guardian, UK

‘I witnessed many things,’ says Henry Wandwasi, slowly – and his eyes, I notice, have the sorrowful, dead look of a man still processing the unimaginable. ‘There were 50 or 60 bodies in the river, blocking the water pump that supplied Mbale town. The water was the colour of blood, smelling of blood. In fact, people avoided drinking it and used spring water instead. We removed the bodies and took them to Mbale mortuary. Amin’s people then used a tractor; they dug a mass grave and buried them like that.’ (more…)

Is Fair Trade Becoming ‘Fair Trade Lite’?

- Business Week

Some proponents say the adjustments needed to bring companies like Wal-Mart and P&G aboard warp the goal of helping small farmers.

When TransFair CEO Paul Rice sits across from Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott, the differences in their backgrounds couldn’t be more stark.

Scott has spent nearly his entire adult life working at the retail behemoth, with a mandate to increase sales and profits and keep costs as low as possible. Rice, after graduating from Yale University in 1983, spent 11 years working with peasant coffee farmers in Nicaragua trying to squeeze higher prices out of coffee buyers. He set up one of the first cooperatives, with 24 coffee-growing families, who sold their first batch of fair trade product to Europe in 1990 for $1.26 a pound, compared with the 10¢ a pound coffee was selling for in Nicaragua then. “It was an overnight legend in Nicaragua,” recalls Rice. (more…)

Church Groups Espouse Fair Trade

- Business Week

Religious organizations are spreading the fair trade gospel to their congregations, and even investing in some like-minded enterprises.

Under the carved wooden arches and the soft glow of the gothic St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown Des Moines, Pastor Rachel Mithelman delivers sermons to about 500 worshipers every weekend on how to live better lives as Christians. She also tells them to buy fair trade coffee and chocolate so that poor farmers around the world are paid a reasonable price for the goods they produce. “We live our lives unjustly in so many avenues, but fair trade is one way to ensure justice, and there is no reason to buy cheap coffee on the backs of poor farmers,” says Mithelman. To back up her point, she serves fair trade coffee during the church’s fellowship hour. And fair trade chocolate is on sale through a baker’s rack display. (more…)

Video: Activists across North America Set World Record


World Fair Trade Day in North America.  12,158 people. 150 events.  One video.

Watch this short video and see the action with your own eyes!


Microfinance: Investments With a Social Return


The 32nd Annual General Meeting of Oikocredit – one of the leading financiers of microfinance worldwide – decided to pay a dividend of 2% to its members for the 15th year in a row. This may come as a surprise, considering the higher returns some new microfinance funds are promising. (more…)

Fair trade fight brewing in Asheville

- Mountain Xpress, NC

It was the plight of the rose-breasted grosbeak that persuaded Laurey Masterson to switch coffee brands.

Masterson was one of the many downtown Asheville restaurant owners targeted by Durham’s Counter Culture Coffee in the mid-1990s with its dual message of quality and corporate responsibility. The sales reps’ basic pitch revolved around a simple concept pioneered by Counter Culture co-owner Fred Houck: Save the songbirds. (more…)