Monthly Archives: July 2012

Businesses Operating in U.S. Market Make Certification Decisions

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After Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) left Fairtrade International (FLO), the dominant certifier of Fair Trade products worldwide, on January 1, 2012, businesses and brands faced a new choice about how to participate in the certification of Fair Trade products. Businesses could become licensees, and use the product label, of FTUSA, FLO, both, another certification like IMO’s “Fair for Life” or CLAC’s Small Producer Symbol, or none. An era of significant competition greatly accelerated between certifiers and labels in Fair Trade.

FLO invited businesses who had been registered with FTUSA while FTUSA had been FLO’s sole representative in the U.S.,  to register as licensees by May 31 or become de-registered. This week, FLO announced the names of some of the brands that have registered with FLO. Of course, businesses can join and leave any certification system at any time, so current lists are not permanent.

See U.S. brands registered with FLO

See businesses registered with FTUSA, including brands, manufacturers and traders

See businesses registered with other certifications

Canadian Fair Trade Network Nears Becoming Formal Organization

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The Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) began as an initiative during the fall last year, and initial members first met at a preliminary meeting in Ottawa last January. On July 16 the network took its first steps to becoming an organization with its first official board meeting, comprising of members from provinces across the country. CFTN is a national network that is working towards building an infrastructure for Fair Trade advocacy in Canada.

The list of First Board of Directors for the CFTN:

  1. Kaan Williams (BC) University British Columbia | Fair Trade Vancouver
  2. Kelly James (AB) University of Calgary
  3. Nancy Allan (SK) Founding member of the North Saskatchewan Network | University of Saskatchewan
  4. Zack Gross (MB) Fair Trade Manitoba
  5. Bruce Morton (ON) Fair Trade Barrie
  6. Lia Walsh (ON) Fair Trade Ottawa Equitable | University of Ottawa
  7. Nadia Berger (ON) Fair Trade Toronto
  8. Eric St Pierre (QC) President of the Quebec Fair Trade Association | Fair Trade Photographer

The CFTN plans to hold its first Annual General Meeting at the start of 2013, where it will hold elections for a Board of Directors, launch memberships, begin strategic planning, and appoint an executive director.

More at Canadian Fair Trade Network

More at Fairtrade Canada post

Some Insights on Trade Politics According to Todd Tucker

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Todd Tucker, a writer and researcher on global governance issues, offers some insights on trade politics as he transitions from working at Public Citizen to doing research at Cambridge University. From 2004 through mid-July 2012, Tucker directed research on trade issues for Public Citizen. In 2012, he was named a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he will be writing on international investment arbitration from a social science perspective.

After 5.5 years focused on trade issues, he offers these personal insights, quoted from his recent blog:

“You wouldn’t know it from opening up a major newspaper or listening to our top politicians, but trade issues matter deeply to many Americans. I think there’s a few reasons you don’t see this bubble up to policy change. (more…)

Global Fairtrade Certified Sales Grow 12% to $6.6B in 2011

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Fairtrade International (FLO), the dominant certifier of Fair Trade products worldwide, released retail sales data by consumer country and product for 2011. Tens of millions of consumers in over 120 countries spent around $6.6 billion in 2011, an increase of 12% over 2010. Growth in the UK was 12%, in the U.S. around 10%, in Canada 3%.

Meanwhile, growth of Fairtrade sales in new countries increased even more. South Africans spent more than three times more on Fairtrade certified products in 2011 over 2010. In its first year with a national Fairtrade organization, sales in South Korea registered at €17 million.

Sales grew steadily across all of the leading Fairtrade products: coffee by 12%, cocoa by 14%, bananas 9%, sugar 9%, tea 8%, and flowers by 11%.  FLO’s system now includes over 1.2 million farmers and workers working at 991 Fairtrade certified producer organizations in 66 countries. In addition to the income they earned from sales of Fairtrade products, farmers and workers earned an extra €65 million in Fairtrade Premium in 2011.

More at FLO news release

Winners Announced for 4th Annual Fair Trade Photo Contest

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See the beautiful winners of the 4th annual Fair Trade Photo Contest. The 12 winning photos will be featured in the 2013 Fair Trade Calendar. Over 2300 people voted for their favorites among the 85 entries!

50% Off Popular Kids Book on Fair Trade

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Think Fair Trade First!, by Ingrid Hess, is now available at nearly 50% off through FTRN at retail and wholesale rates. Thousands of copies have been sold, so now it’s time for a clearance sale. Details: published February 2010 ~ Ages 3-8 ~ 40 color pages 8×9 inches, softcover book ~ $6.99 retail. See review below. (more…)

10-15% Off 2013 Fair Trade Calendar Through August 12

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Early bird discounts are available until August 12 for all orders of the 2013 Fair Trade Calendar, the only one produced in N. America. The beautiful calendar is produced by FTRN and the Fair Trade Federation for the 4th straight year. View the 2012 Fair Trade Calendar as an example! Calendars arrive to customers starting in early September. Get 10-15% off prices as low as $5.50 per copy (already wholesale for everyone) by ordering before August 12. (more…)

Fair Trade Towns & Universities Conference Announced for Oct 26-28 in Chicago

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Fair Trade Towns USA announced that its next national conference will take place October 26-28, 2012, in Chicago. The conference will be the 2nd Fair Trade Towns & Colleges/ Universities Conference, after the one September 2011 in Philadelphia. Designed to connect Fair Trade enthusiasts from all over the country, the 3-day gathering will focus on providing tools, education materials, and leadership training for Fair Trade Towns & Universities, as well as motivating and attracting new people to Fair Trade.

More at FTT enewsletter

Puma Launches Line of Apparel Using Fair Trade Cotton

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Puma recently announced a line of apparel, including woven shirts, cargo shorts and pants, and graphic tees, with more than 80% of the apparel styles derived from certified Fairtrade cotton. The Wildnerness line is primarily sourced and manufactured in Kenya in collaboration with Wildlife Works. With the support of Fairtrade International, Puma aims to manufacture the entirety of its Wilderness apparel using fair-trade cotton by 2013.

More at Ecouterre post

Nestle Reportedly Failing on Child Labor

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According to BBC News, a ground-breaking report done by Fair Labor Association shows that Nestle, the world’s largest food company “has been accused of failing to carry out checks on child labor and other abuses in part of its cocoa supply chain. A report by an independent auditor, the Fair Labor Association (FLA), says it found ‘multiple serious violations’ of the company’s own supplier code. The code includes clauses on child labor, safety and working hours…  FLA says this is the first time a multi-national chocolate producer has allowed its procurement system to be completely traced and assessed. It believes the flaws it uncovered apply to all the big chocolate companies.”

BBC reports that “FLA investigators tracked the journey of cocoa from the poorest and most remote villages to the exporters that sold directly to Nestle. They found that while Nestle insisted their primary suppliers – mostly big multi-nationals – agree to their code, it often went no further, despite Nestle knowing the supply chain involved many other stages.”

Rest of BBC News story

Full FLA report on Nestle cocoa supply chain, and Nestle’s action plan