The 3 major producer networks (representing 800 producers groups comprised of around 1 million producers in 60 countries) in Fair Trade certification, issued statements this week strongly opposing Fair Trade USA’s decision to withdraw from Fairtrade International (FLO), and to FTUSA doing so without consulting the 3 networks, all co-owners of FLO.In addition, the Latin America network, CLAC, and its coffee subgroup, Red Café, went further to strongly oppose FTUSA’s strategy to expand certification for hired labor in coffee and other product areas in Latin America. More, CLAC and Red Café urge that the current flux in Fair Trade be used to have FLO reconsider its current policies of allowing plantations and contract labor in some products (bananas, tea, flowers, etc.) in Latin America, to allow only small producers self-organized to participate in FLO.
See the full producer statements at:
Joint statement from CAN (Latin American and Caribbean Network of Small Fair Trade Producers (CLAC), Fairtrade Africa, and Network of Asian Producers)
Statement from CLAC (Latin American and Caribbean Network of Small Fair Trade Producers)
In addition, the Fair World Project, a program of the Organic Consumers Association based in the US, issued a Fair World Project statement.
Finally, FTRN plans to conduct 3 public webinars during October, with panelists from FTUSA and FLO, to discuss what implications the split has for producers and the Fair Trade movement. Updates at FTRN News, and FTRN Webinars.