Monthly Archives: June 2012

Vote for Stunning Photos in the Fair Trade Photo Contest through July 16

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Scores of beautiful and insightful photos are now competing in the 4th annual Fair Trade Photo Contest. The 12 winning photos will be featured in the 2013 Fair Trade Calendar. Each person can vote for up to 5 photos through July 16.

Vote ballot now

Brazil Producer Groups Voice Opinions About FTUSA Initiative

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Two more producer groups, both from Brazil, added their voices to the public responses in reaction to Fair Trade USA’s (FTUSA) recent controversial actions. Brazil is the country where FTUSA’s first pilot program certifying a coffee estate took place, in January 2012. Brazil currently has around 45 Fair Trade producer organizations, of all product types (not just coffee), amounting to the 6th most among the 80 countries with Fair Trade producer organizations.

The Association of Fair Trade Producer Organizations of Brazil issued a letter to FTUSA opposing its Fair Trade for All initiative. The association represents around 6000 coffee farmers. See the Association’s letter at Equal Exchange post

The Administrative Council of Coocafe, the largest member of the Association of Fair Trade Producer Organizations of Brazil, issued a letter in favor of Fair Trade for All. Coocafe is a cooperative that represents around 5000 coffee farmers. See Coocafe’s letter at Cooperative News post

See other stakeholder voices at FTRN news post

Members of Malawi Parliament Explore Accelerating Fair Trade

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A Fairtrade Breakfast meeting, co-organized by the Fair Trade Network of Malawi and Fairtrade Africa, was held in early June in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe. It convened more than 60 representatives from Malawi’s Parliament, producer organizations, the donor community and civil society to discuss formally and informally the opportunities Fairtrade offers to the Malawian agricultural sector.

The Malawi Fair Trade Network chaired the meeting and facilitated a panel discussion with representatives from sugar, groundnuts and tea industries – areas where Fairtrade is thriving. This also included a glimpse of the current market opportunities in the UK and the initiatives the system is currently taking to grow that market. (more…)

Lutheran Synod Passes Resolution Supporing Fair Trade – Leads to Sales & Outreach

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The Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America passed a resolution at their annual assembly in May urging their 187 congregations to “purchase and use Fair Trade products that reflect the justice values of the gospel.”  Village Markets, a Fair Trade initiative connected with the Lutheran Church, and several congregations in the synod responded to the resolution with a dynamic model to get churches involved in the Fair Trade movement by selling Fair Trade products with a free display case organized by Village Markets.  They developed a short video that describes how churches can support global Fair Trade, and at the same time, support local outreach:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_XZ_wl-JTw

Only 42,000 of Estimated 21 Million Modern Slaves Freed in 2011

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More than 42,000 adults and children kept as slaves, forced into prostitution or otherwise trafficked were discovered by authorities around the world in 2011, according to a new report by the U.S. State Department.

However this figure was a tiny fraction of the estimated number of people held in bondage with the International Labor Organization estimating earlier this month that there are about 20.9 million victims of modern slavery, the State Department Trafficking in Persons Report noted.

Fair Trade is one part of the solution to provide economic alternatives to marginalized people, and reduce trafficked and enslaved adults and children around the world.

More at MSNBC article

London Olympics Likely to Sell Many Fair Trade Products

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By asking the catering industry to source Fairtrade certified products, the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games has set new standards for the catering industry for not just this iconic event but future major events – quite a legacy. Fairtrade bananas, tea, coffee and sugar are will probably be available at all Olympic venues.

The UK Fairtrade Foundation says an estimated 10 million Fairtrade bananas from the Windward Islands and South America will be eaten, 7.5 million cups of Fairtrade tea served, 14 million cups of coffee carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark drunk, and 10 million Fairtrade certified sachets of sugar grown by farmers in Belize consumed. This equates to an estimated Fairtrade premium of £100,000 that will be generated over the six week period of the Games.

More at Natural Products article

Fair Trade Buyer & Producer Coop Partner on Climate Change

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(Adapted with permission from Coop Coffees)

A recent report from the UK’s leading ethical tea & coffee brand Cafédirect warned that the worldwide production of Arabica coffee could be threatened by climate change. Along with the publication of the report, Cafédirect launched an initiative to help small-scale Peruvian producers to cope with landslides and flooding’s threats. (more…)

Webinar 122 Recording Now Available Free

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The recording of Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN) Webinar #122 is now available free, since 1 month has passed since the live production on May 7. “How Should, or Shouldn’t, Fair Trade Be Applied to Producers in Developed Countries?” webinar discussed implications and ask questions to 2 panelists:

1. Kerstin Lindgren, Domestic Fair Trade Association, Executive Director
2. Jonathan Rosenthal, Just Works Consulting, Partner (and Co-Founder of Equal Exchange)

FREE Webinar #122 recording

Fair Trade Photo Contest Accepts Entries June 1-26

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The 4th annual Fair Trade Photo Contest has begun! Educate about Fair Trade, or help spread the word about your business or organization and the beauty of Fair Trade. Last year over 2500 people voted for the 78 photos submitted. The sooner a photo is submitted, the higher its placement on the page of all submissions.

Fair Trade Resource Network and Fair Trade Federation, co-producers of this only photo contest in N. America about Fair Trade, welcome anyone to enter photos from producer or consumer countries. The 12 winning Fair Trade photos will be featured in the 2013 Fair Trade Calendar!

1) Submit Photos (June 1-26, 2012) (more…)

FLO Announces New Worker Rights Strategy

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Fairtrade International (FLO) announced it has begun implementing its new approach to hired labor, approved in March. FLO states that “the new strategy will firmly place Fairtrade beyond a traditional CSR model based on standard-setting and auditing. It will guide us in helping workers become active participants in the decisions that impact their lives.”

FLO states it “believes collective bargaining through an independent trade union is the best way for workers to negotiate higher wages, benefits and better work conditions…” So, FLO “…will work to enable workers to organize and bargain on the terms of their employment if they choose.” (more…)