“Fair Trade, Sustainability and Social Change”, by Ian Hudson, Mark Hudson and Mara Fridell, should be required reading for anyone interested in the strategic direction, challenges and opportunities of Fair Trade and its social movement. Only once every 5-10 years does such a thoughtful book come out about the big picture and major issues in Fair Trade. Although a bit academic at times for the lay reader, the authors present in accessible style critical topics like the pros & cons of various ways actors message about Fair Trade, how Fair Trade compares to other sustainability certifications, and tensions arising as Fair Trade engages large corporations.
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Here you will find featured articles on Fair Trade.
January 17, 2013- Jeff
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
September 7, 2012- Jeff
An initiative that started in late 2010 to organize and strengthen the Fair Trade movement in N. America, has announced next steps. Initially known as the N. America Fair Trade Stakeholder Council, the effort has changed its name to The Fair and Alternative Trade Alliance (FATA). FATA is now welcoming additional members as it creates a vision for the international Fair Trade movement, as well as a vision for the domestic Fair Trade movement. FATA will then propose ways the 2 movements can collaborate on common interests, and support each other on divergent interests. (more…)
September 5, 2012- Jeff
Fairtrade International (FLO), the dominant certifier of Fair Trade products worldwide, released its 2011-12 annual report. The report elaborates on producer impact stories, select FLO producer programs, sales by consumer country and by product type, FLO financials, and descriptions of governance & staff.
Some new highlights include:
For more highlights and the full report, visit FLO post
July 18, 2012- Jeff
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
July 6, 2012- Jeff
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
July 5, 2012- Jeff
Fairtrade International (FLO), the dominant certifier of Fair Trade goods worldwide, announced key leadership changes this past week. Harriet Lamb is the new Chief Executive, after more than 10 years as Executive Director of the UK Fairtrade Foundation. She will begin her new role with Fairtrade International by 1 October 2012.
Molly Harriss Olson in Australia was elected Board Chair for FLO. Molly is Director of Eco Futures, an Australian-based international policy firm working on building sustainable strategies with business, government and civic leaders. She is Co-Founder of Earthmark and the Founder of the National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development. She serves on the Boards of the Green Building Council of Australia, and is Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board of Ecos Magazine.
FLO also welcomes Marike de Peña as Board Vice Chair. This is the first time that a producer representative has served at such a high level on the Board. Marike de Peña is Vice President of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Small Producer Organizations (CLAC). She is Director of Banelino, a banana co-operative in the Dominican Republic.
More on new CEO Harriet Lamb at FLO post
More on new FLO Board Chair & members at FLO post
July 2, 2012- Jeff
A group of 38 stakeholders is threatening to stop considering Fair Trade USA (FTUSA), and its Fair Trade Certified product label, as a valid certifier and Fair Trade certification, unless significant changes are made to FTUSA’s practices. In an open letter to FTUSA, the signatories also invite other organizations to sign on.
The letter begins with “We, committed fair trade stakeholders, have been disappointed by the historic actions of Fair Trade USA (FTUSA), especially in recent months, to the point that we can no longer consider FTUSA a valid fair trade certifier and partner without significant changes to its practices. The undersigned have outlined the most important actions that contradict fair trade principles and what FTUSA can do by specific times, to gain credibility and support again in the Fair Trade movement and marketplace.”
The letter asks FTUSA to take 2 actions: propose a new governance structure and process by September 1 for public comment; immediately cease plans to open up coffee certification on large-scale operations.
More at Open Letter to FTUSA
June 27, 2012- Jeff
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.
June 19, 2012- Jeff
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