Monthly Archives: January 2013

U.S. Farm Bill Extension Called Awful By Sustainable Agriculture Advocates


Reported by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC):

On New Year’s Eve, the U.S. Senate passed a simple extension of the 2008 Farm Bill through September 30, 2013, as part of a much bigger legislative package to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.  The House approved the Senate bill late on New Year’s Day and President Obama signed it into law on January 2.

The fiscal cliff deal was the final death knell for the 2012 Farm Bill that the full Senate passed in June and that the House Agriculture Committee passed in July.  The deal was also a very sudden death knell for the reasonable modified farm bill extension measure that NSAC worked diligently to promote over the past several months.

Approval of the simple farm bill extension also means that the new Congress that begins this month will have to start the process of reauthorizing a new, full five-year farm bill from scratch.

More at NSAC post

Canadian Fair Trade Network Conference Takes Action on Its Governance & Policies


The Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) inaugural Annual General Meeting (AGM) and National Conference took place on January 10th and 11th in Calgary. The event saw individuals from civil society, businesses and institutions from across Canada come together to build the foundations for a strong fair trade movement in Canada.

Members unanimously adopted a motion to recommend to Fairtrade Canada that for the Fair Trade Town and Fair Trade Campus programs, the (FLO) Fairtrade certification system be adopted as the baseline standard. The purpose of this recommendation was to help bring clarity to an otherwise crowded world of certification systems; seeking to uphold rigorous standards and keep systems accountable to constantly improving standards.

The AGM finished with the election of directors, welcoming back Zack Gross, Nancy Allan, Kelly James, Kaan Williams, Bruce Morton and Nadia Berger, and welcoming Sasha Caldera and Shirley Fagnen.

More at CFTN Conference Recap post

FTUSA Group Assesses 2-Yr Apparel Pilot Program


Fair Trade USA’s Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) for apparel released a report on the recently completed Fair Trade Certified™ apparel pilot program. Launched in 2010, the pilot project was the first global program to certify facilities making clothing and accessories with a consumer label to signal social and environmental sustainability.  It is also the first time that a Fair Trade certification attempted to deliver direct economic benefit at two different levels of the supply chain: cotton farmers and cut-and-sew factory workers. The report was co-written by the MSG and Fair Trade USA.

During the two year pilot period, four factories out of 55 applicants were certified, with four more in process. Cotton farmers in India, Egypt and Nicaragua participated in the program, along with 1,300 factory workers in India, Liberia and Costa Rica.

More at FTUSA press release

Small Producer Symbol Updates List of Its Partners


The Small Producers’ Symbol updated its list of certification entities (5 total), small producer organizations (24 total), and buyers (totaling 13). See details at:

List of certification entities

List of small producer organizations

List of buyers

Fairtrade International USA Announces First Board & Office Staff


With a newly established office in Washington, D.C., Fairtrade International USA announced its Board of Directors and Interim Operations Manager. The Interim Operations Manager, Enrique Hennings, was appointed in December 2012.

The newly elected Board of Directors is made up of 5 representatives:

Raul del Aguila is Managing Director of COCLA, a second grade Fairtrade certified cooperative in Peru made up of 23 primary cooperatives; Dr. Bama Athreya is a leading voice in the US on issues of forced labor, trafficking and child labor. Most recently, Bama served as Executive Director of United to End Genocide; Tony Hall leads the Fair Trade Town initiative in Irvine, California, and is the Regional Representative for the Pacific Rim for the WFTO; Werner Kiene since 2010 has been Chairman of the Compliance Review Panel of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C.; Nick Orton currently serves as Board Secretary for Fairtrade Canada and manages a fish processing and smoking business.

More at Fairtrade International post

20% Off Prices for 2013 Fair Trade Calendar


The 2013 Fair Trade Calendar is the only one available in N. America. In its 4th year, the full color 13.5″ x 9.5″ calendar is stunning & educational. Everyone gets 20% off wholesale prices as of New Year’s, resulting in prices as low as $4.80 per copy while supplies last.

See a PDF file of 2013 Fair Trade Calendar

Features the winning photos of Fair Trade producers from the Fair Trade Photo Contest, voted on by supporters of the Fair Trade movement.

Order the calendar