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How to Include Producers in FT Movement Planning?

amina-rajab-and-dehiya-farash_uganda_servv(Artisans Amina Rajab and Dehiya Farash in Uganda – photo courtesy of SERRV )

by Jeff Goldman

With a main goal of empowering vulnerable artisans and farmers, and improving their quality of lives, Fair Trade has struggled for decades with how to include producers in movement planning. While the will may be strong for many Fair Trade leaders and organizations, the implementation is quite challenging. Barriers often include costly logistics (communications, visas), low capacity (skills and knowledge) and competing interests.
Some FT organizations have experimented with types of solutions. These have included producer ownership (Divine Chocolate), board representation (Fairtrade Labeling Organization), tours to network with industrialized country FT leaders (Green America and Partners for Just Trade), and other involvement. However, lots of Fair Traders argue this hasn’t been enough.
So, please suggest any creative and practical ways to include producers in appropriate levels of FT movement planning.

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