Monthly Archives: May 2012

“What is the State of Fair Trade & the Movement in N. America?” – Webinar Coming June 12

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Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN) announces that Webinar #123 is coming June 12 to discuss “What is the State of Fair Trade & the Movement in N. America?” The webinar is for the public to learn recent developments and ask questions to 2 panelists:

1. Jeff Goldman, Fair Trade Resource Network, Executive Director
2. Sean McHugh, Canadian Fair Trade Network, Executive Director

See more details below.

Register for Webinar #123

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Fair Trade Beer Now Available in N. America

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Certified Fair Trade beer is now available in N. America. Mongozo, a Belgian Pilsner being sold in Canada, contains FAIRTRADE certified bananas. As part of World Fair Trade Day at the EPIC Sustainable Living Expo, Fair Trade Vancouver offered free samples of the beer.

Fair Trade wine and spirits are already available across the U.S. and Canada.

More at Mongozo beer or Metro news article

WFTD 2012 Became the Biggest Ever in N. America!

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World Fair Trade Day in N. America reached new highs this year, during celebrations May 6-20! Around 1000 events involved about 100,000 participants. See photos & stories at WFTD.

Many advocates celebrated the “Best in Fair Trade” Award winners announced at “Best in Fair Trade” Awards.

More on World Fair Trade Day in N. America at WFTD

Petition Asks U.S. to Make TPP Free Trade Agreement Talks Public

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Citizens Trade Campaign planned to deliver a petition this week in Dallas demanding that U.S. officials move the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement negotiations into the light of day.  The public can sign the petition now.

CTC reports that trade negotiators from throughout the Pacific Rim are meeting in Texas for a critical summit aimed at rushing the TPP toward completion.  The pact is reportedly already 75% complete, with some 26 separate chapters that will likely affect jobs, wages, agriculture, migration, consumer safety, the environment, financial regulations, internet freedom, access to medicine, indigenous rights, public procurement and more in our communities and throughout the world.

More at CTC post on TPP summit

N. America Fair Trade Stakeholder Council Summit Makes Progress on Key Issues – Action Plan to Come by June

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The following summary is offered by FTRN, and not by the Organizing Committee nor full Council:

Around 50 people representing some of the Fair Trade movement held a summit April 30 – May 2, 2012, in Minneapolis. Important dialogue & learning progressed among diverse stakeholders, including certifiers/standard setters (Fairtrade International – via Fairtrade Canada representative), Fair Trade USA, IMO Fair for Life, Agricultural Justice Project) who participated in just the final day. Many of the stakeholders had never met, communicated, or even known much about each other’s organizations. Valuable relationships were established or strengthened between people/organizations. The Council as yet did not achieve any of its 4 stated goals. Members identified a little common ground, but mostly discussed key issues and how the movement might resolve them. A working group was formed to propose by June next steps for dialogue and action. The Council intends to publish for the public details of its discussions and progress by June, and ways additional stakeholders can engage or join in coming months.

Regarding the 4 stated goals:

  • Define Fair Trade and the movement, what they are and what they are not – members didn’t clarify common ground, but did gain more understanding of topics like domestic Fair Trade, large-scale agriculture/plantations, and what the movement could collaborate on.
  • Organize the North American Fair Trade movement under a coordinated infrastructure with a common vision – very little progress, so there remains a critical opportunity to organize ongoing communication across the movement.
  • Reach agreement on a plan for cooperation and accountability within the movement – this was the goal with the most progress, as members agreed on an agenda (currently 30 items) for more work, and advanced thinking a lot on many issues. It seems like commitment is there to carry some of this work to meaningful results in coming months.
  • Develop a clear external message for the movement- members decided this was lower priority, so postponed work until the Council (and perhaps others) progresses on other goals first.

More details, and future updates at N. America Fair Trade Stakeholder Council

Winter Park, FL, Becomes a Fair Trade Town

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Winter Park, Florida, became a Fair Trade Town in the U.S. this week, and the first in the southeast. With Claremont, CA, also becoming a Fair Trade Town recently, there are now 28 in the U.S.

More at FTT Winter Park

Winners Announced for “Best in Fair Trade” Awards

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Congratulations to the 5 winners of the “Best in Fair Trade” Awards! Over2100 people voted to select winners from among the 14 finalists.

FTRN created the contest since no awards existed to honor organizations across all major Fair Trade recognitions. Winners will be celebrated during World Fair Trade Day in May!

More at “Best in Fair Trade” Award winners