The staff and Board announce that Fair Trade Resource Network will be shutting down as of May 31, 2014. While we are disappointed that we won’t be able to advance Fair Trade from our own organization, we commit to supporting Fair Trade through other organizations and activities. We are proud of all that FTRN has accomplished over 15 years, in partnership with you, allied organizations, and thousands of individuals.
The main reason we are closing is that FTRN has been unable to attract sustainable funding. A relatively small movement has become quite fragmented in recent years, making it very difficult to sustain an inclusive, umbrella Fair Trade education & advocacy organization. We hope that by closing, we free up resources, and space, for Fair Trade interests to reassess, strengthen and grow.
We are proud of the work that FTRN has done over the years to provide resources to the movement and support all systems in Fair Trade. Along with other partners, we have seen growth and diversification in Fair Trade. We appreciate the support and advocacy of all of our supporters and want to encourage all of you to stay engaged with the movement. To that point, below is a list of organizations, active in Fair Trade education and advocacy, that we recommend you follow, or participate with, to continue the mission of making Fair Trade the rule rather than the exception.
Catholic Relief Services and other faith-based organizations
FTRN, in partnership with tens of thousands of individuals, and hundreds of organizations, has achieved a lot with little resources, including:
– Coordinating and supporting World Fair Trade Day events that have grown to include over 100,000 people at over 1000 events across N. America.
– Building the premiere website, FTRN.org, for inclusive Fair Trade education, with unique visitors increasing every year to around 100,000.
– Co-hosting with partners all major movement conferences and summits in the U.S., like Fair Trade Futures (over 750 people in 2011 and 2006), and the Fair & Alternative Trade Alliance Summit in 2012 (with 50 leaders attending).
– Creating unique educational resources, like the annual wall calendar, photo contest, webinars about key issues, a definitive booklet overview of Fair Trade, the only free Power Point show overview, and more, all used by thousands of people.
We will attempt to pass along any interesting materials and assets to partner organizations.
We accomplished these successes with critical support, partnership, funding and participation of businesses, nonprofits, certifiers, faith groups, students, academics and individual advocates. We wholeheartedly extend our deep appreciation for those people who teamed up with FTRN over the years.
Fair Trade remains a deeply inspiring concept. Let’s commit ourselves to further advancing Fair Trade principles in other ways, for the benefit of marginalized producers!