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Stakeholder Debate Blossoms as Fair Trade Enters Time of Monumental Change

The Fair Trade movement seems to have entered a once in 25-year time of tremendous change. As the dominant certification system experiences its first major split since its founding in 1988, producers, businesses, and other advocates debate the direction of Fair Trade, differences between Fair Trade USA and Fairtrade International, and the very essence of Fair Trade. Some of the best online comments to date include:

Mexican Coordinator of Small Fair Trade Producers public statement

Fair Trade USA publicly lists supporters and a letter of support from Coope Tarrazu at FTUSA

The 3 major producer networks at Producer Statements

Merling Preza, President of CLAC, on Coffeelands blog

Jerónimo Pruijn van Engelen, Executive Director of FUNDEPPO/Small Producers´ Symbol, and CLAC Delegate to Fairtrade International’s Standards Committee, at FTRN Webinar 118 (text notes at Webinar 118 insights)

Coffeelands blog posts of Michael Sheridan, Catholic Relief Services, and Bill Fishbein, founder of Coffee Kids

Fair Trade People discussions on LinkedIn

Equal Exchange Small Farmer blog, especially the speech by co-founder and co-president Rink Dickinson

Fair World Project press release

Fair Trade USA CEO Paul Rice on FTRN Webinar 117 (text highlights at Webinar 117 insights)

With the major news that FTUSA is leaving FLO, FTRN is producing a webinar series in October/November for the public to discuss implications and ask questions of FTUSA, FLO and advocates.  See details of FTRN webinars.


  1. Readers may be interested that last week BBC radio interviewed me about our campaign back in 1976 to import instant coffee from Tanzania to the United Kingdom. It started the idea of ethically sourced coffee in the UK. The broadcast is now available on YouTube (4 minutes):


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