ftrn.org is an information hub designed to grow the fair trade movement. together, we can create a market that values the people who make the food we eat and the goods we use.

Featured

TIP: If a story moves you, use the comment feature for that story to write a response. Dialogue is a key to growing the movement!

Here you will find featured articles on Fair Trade.

World Fair Trade Day Plans & Resources Announced for May 2014

-

Fair Trade Resource Network is delighted to announce plans and resources for World Fair Trade Day in N. America, with events taking place May 3-18, 2014. Download the free World Fair Trade Day Activities Guide for tips, ideas, and resources! You can also order WFTD promotional stickers and postcards, and Fair Trade products – free of charge – at www.ftrn.org/wftd.

Across N. America, advocates are inspiring around 100,000 people to participate in Fair Trade events from May 3-18. Please join us in supporting the largest Fair Trade event in N. America each year. With over 1 million producers around the world already benefiting from Fair Trade, it’s time to raise our voices and vote with our dollars until all trade is fair! This year, individuals as well as organizations will host hundreds of events to celebrate Fair Trade.

We invite you to host WFTD events during May 3-18 - including Fair Trade festivals, fashion shows, speeches, food and drink tastings, film showings, sports games, neighborhood crawls, spa nights and concerts and much more - to promote Fair Trade and campaign for trade justice together with farmers and artisans around the world.

More at WFTD

Fairtrade International Makes Major Changes to Strengthen Hired Worker Standards

-

Fairtrade International has overhauled its Fairtrade Standard for Hired Labor to strengthen the position of workers in Fairtrade certified plantations and estates producing tea, bananas and other fruit, cut flowers, herbs, vegetables and sports ball factories. The newly revised standard includes detailed requirements to guarantee workers’ right to freely organize and collectively bargain. Certified producer companies must not only declare this right publically to workers, but allow unions to meet with workers and offer to engage in a collective agreement process with worker representatives if there is none in place.

Fairtrade International is also introducing a new methodology to set living wage benchmarks and a clear process for plantations to progress towards a living wage. The new methodology has been developed and benchmarks have already been set in some areas. Fairtrade International is now in the process of calculating rural living wage benchmarks for each region with Fairtrade certified plantations.

More at Fairtrade International post

Canada Fair Trade Movement Strengthens Its Organization at Annual Conference

-

The Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) continued its inspiring developments in organizing and collaborating across the country’s Fair Trade community. The 2014 CFTN National Conference brought over 100 people together for 3 days in January in Toronto. Attendees focused on: sharing business perspectives in fair trade; bringing together key advocates, business representatives, academics, students and certifiers from across the movement; conducting the CFTN Annual General Meeting and vision and strategy session; hosting a Fair Trade Expo with around 15 vendors; collaborating across Fair Trade Towns, Schools, and Campuses; and advocate skill building and community engagement.

FTRN strongly believes that the fragmented and under-resourced U.S. Fair Trade community would achieve a lot more if it were organized and collaborating like Canada’s movement.

More at CFTN Conference

Certification Comparison Tool Published by FWP

-

An online tool was recently published to compare some aspects of certification programs for Fair Trade and ecosocial labels in the U.S. and Canada markets. The tool, published by Fair World Project (FWP), a program of Organic Consumers Association, currently compares 6 certifications across 8 criteria. The tool presents both objective factors as well as FWP’s opinions on how well each label meets FWP’s expectations.

The tool focuses on certification policies related to multi-ingredient products, so doesn’t presently address scores of other criteria on how labels compare. The tool currently compares Fair Trade USA’s “Fair Trade Certified”, Fairtrade America’s FAIRTRADE, IMO’s “Fair for Life”, Ecocert, UTZ Certified, and Rainforest Alliance Certified, and is updated as of November 2013.

More at FWP online tool

Fair Trade Minimum Price for Coffee Again Benefiting Farmers

-

One of the key benefits of Fair Trade is to guarantee producers a minimum floor price when global commodity prices drop. In some years, when commodity prices are high, this benefit is more psychological rather than material. This year for coffee farmers, the benefit is again material and very important.

The small scale farmers that make up the majority of global coffee production remember all too well the calamity of 2001 when prices plummeted to 45 cents a pound, throwing hundreds of thousands of farmers and landless workers into poverty or destitution.

More recently, in May 2011, the price of Arabica coffee on the New York futures market hit a 34-year high of almost US$3.09 per pound. But, as if to justify its volatile reputation, the coffee price has plummeted in 2013 to less than US$1.10 per pound – nearly 65 percent off the 2011 high (see the latest market price here).

The price collapse this year is particularly unwelcome for farmers in Central America, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru where leaf rust, a fungal disease that destroys coffee trees also known as La Roya, has already wiped out up to 30-40 percent of the crop, according to the International Coffee Organization (ICO).

Fairtrade certified cooperatives can count on at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price of US$1.40 per pound for washed Arabica coffee sold on Fairtrade terms (30 cents more if organic), plus an extra 20 cents per pound Fairtrade Premium to invest as they see fit, 5 cents of which is dedicated to productivity and quality investments.

More at Fairtrade International post

Fair Trade Month 2013 Advocacy Resources Offered by Several Organizations & Campaigns

-

Every October in the U.S. is Fair Trade Month! The resources below can help you spread awareness of Fair Trade, attend an existing event, or host your own event.

Get free Fair Trade products


Use free educational materials


Be part of a national campaign


Gain publicity for your organization or store


(more…)

Free Materials & Products Available for Fair Trade Month Celebrations

-

Fair Trade Resource Network and Fairtrade America invite the public to celebrate National Fair Trade Month this October, as we raise awareness and encourage more people to enjoy Fair Trade products in their daily lives. In doing so, we all support many families to have better living standards.  Fairtrade America and Fair Trade Resource Network are partnering to support and publicize events and activities throughout the month.  Please read below to find out about free product samples, educational materials and other support!

We encourage you to participate in any or all of the following ways:

(more…)

FLO Releases Annual Report for 2012-13

-

Fairtrade International (FLO), the largest certifier of Fair Trade products worldwide, just released its 2012-13 Annual Report. The 20-page report is one of the best sources of global statistics on producer organizations, smallholder and worker representation, retail sales by country and product type, and more.

This edition is the first such FLO annual report that excludes activity from Fair Trade USA, which left the FLO system at the end of 2011.

A few highlights include:

  • Over 1.3 million farmers and workers in 70 countries are part of 1,149 Fairtrade producer organizations
  • In addition to sales income, these producer groups benefitted from around 80 million euros in Fairtrade Premium money in 2012.
  • Consumer sales increased significantly in key markets, including: Germany (33 percent), the Netherlands (26 percent), Sweden (28 percent), Switzerland (15 percent), and the UK (16 percent).
  • Excluding the USA, average sales in all other Fairtrade markets increased by over 20 percent compared to 2011.
  • Consumers showed their support for Fairtrade by spending 4.8 billion euros on Fairtrade products in 2012.
  • Fairtrade products became available in Kenya and will be available in India later this year, providing consumers in those markets the chance to buy Fairtrade products from Fairtrade producers in the same country.
  • Nespresso, Ben and Jerry’s, and Maltesers made major new commitments with Fairtrade.
  • The Fairtrade Access Fund has given US$5.65 million in loans to small producer organizations in Latin America to address their most pressing financial needs.
  • More than half of all bananas sold in Switzerland’s retail chains are from Fairtrade producers, and over 40 percent of sugar bags in the UK bear the FAIRTRADE Mark. Globally, sales of Fairtrade flowers grew by over 50 percent.
  • Over 30,000 Fairtrade products are now sold in more than 125 countries worldwide.

More at FLO post

Winners Announced for the 5th Annual Photo Contest

-

See the beautiful winners of the 5th annual Fair Trade Photo Contest. The 12 winning photos will be featured in the 2014 Fair Trade Calendar. The photos were submitted by the public, and voted on by the public, during June-July 2013.

Get 10-15% off low prices by ordering the 2014 Fair Trade Calendar before July 31. Just $7 each for 2 or more copies!

2 More Days to Enter 5th Annual Fair Trade Photo Contest

-

The 5th annual Fair Trade Photo Contest accepts entries until the end of July 26! Educate about Fair Trade, or help spread the word about your business or organization and the beauty of Fair Trade. Last year over 2300 people voted for the 90 photos submitted. The sooner a photo is submitted, the higher its placement on the page of all submissions.

Fair Trade Resource Network, producer of this only photo contest in N. America about Fair Trade, welcomes anyone to enter photos from producer or consumer countries. The 12 winning Fair Trade photos will be featured in the 2014 Fair Trade Calendar!

1) Submit Photos (June 7-26, 2013) (more…)