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Fair Trade Headlines

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In this section, find Fair Trade stories that have made the headlines in major media outlets or which are key stories across the movement.

Blood and Chocolate

- The Grist

While I was waxing euphoric last week about Fair Trade and ultra-fancy chocolate ahead of Valentine’s Day, interesting things were happening in the chocolate world.

Regulators in Germany raided the offices of seven corporate chocolate makers — including Nestle, Kraft, and Mars — investigating allegations of price fixing. Six food conglomerates process half of the world’s cocoa, giving them tremendous leverage on price. Usually, they use their market power to squeeze farmers in the global south; evidently, they may now be using it to squeeze consumers in the global north. Canadian and even U.S. antitrust regulators have launched similar investigations, Bloomberg reports in the above-linked piece.
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A ‘Fair Trade’ Approach to Licensed College Gear

- The New York Times

One day seven or eight years ago in Bangkok, Joe Falcone began to feel an uncomfortable sensation of futility. The grandson of garment workers, he had been working in Asia’s clothing factories for nearly a decade, making certain they complied with labor and environmental laws. The idea was to assure American consumers their apparel and shoes were not made in sweatshops.

But, as Mr. Falcone recalled in a recent interview, he had come to wonder if the laws were strong enough. (more…)

Pura Vida Coffee wins support of the House

- The Seattle Times

Forget earmarks and political donations. Pura Vida Coffee, of Seattle, won the right to sell coffee at the U.S. House of Representatives through an old-fashioned taste test.

“When we decided to switch to Fair Trade coffee, there was some nervousness about whether that coffee is as good as regular coffee, which is one reason we had the taste-off,” said Dan Beard, the House’s chief administrative officer. Pura Vida began supplying the House with coffee in December. (more…)

BART to offer free morning coffee

- The Oakland Tribune

OAKLAND — Many early morning BART riders jump start their day with a cup of coffee and on Thursday, thousands of commuters can get their java for free.

Partnering with the non-profit Transfair USA and Tully’s Coffee, the transit agency will offer coupons from 6 to 9 a.m. for a free cup of coffee at six stations as part of its rider appreciation campaign.

What makes this promotion unique is that the three organizations are teaming up to promote environmental sustainability and create awareness of Fair Trade products to socially conscious Bay Area residents.

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BART offers Thursday morning commuters free coffee coupons

- San Jose Mercury News

OAKLAND — Many early morning BART riders jump start their day with a cup of coffee and on Thursday, thousands of commuters can get their java for free.

Partnering with the non-profit Transfair USA and Tully’s Coffee, the transit agency will offer coupons from 6 to 9 a.m. for a free cup of coffee as part of its rider appreciation campaign. (more…)

Free? We LOVE free stuff!

- The San Francisco Chronicle

Nothing says “I love you” like a cuppa free joe.

Yes, they might have recently raised ticket prices, but the lovely people at BART are organizing a giveaway Thursday at six BART stations, starting at 6 a.m.

Volunteers will be handing out 50,000 coupons for a free fair-trade latte or drip coffee at Tully’s Coffee. They say the promotion goes until 9 a.m., but we sort of doubt there will be enough coupons to last, so get there early. (more…)

TransFair USA Wins Fast Company Magazine and Monitor Group’s Social Capitalist Award for Fourth Consecutive Year

- EarthTimes.org

OAKLAND, Calif. — For the fourth year in a row, TransFair USA — the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States — was named a Social Capitalist Award winner by Fast Company magazine and the Monitor Group. California-based TransFair USA was listed among the “Top-Performing Nonprofits” in this year’s awards. The awards recognized 45 nonprofits that use the tools of business to solve the world’s most pressing social problems — ranging from poor health care in developing nations to unequal education access, homelessness, unemployment and substance abuse in the United States — and that have demonstrated a consistent and unusually large impact on society. (more…)

“The Cake Sale” — Music and Recipes

- Bon Appetit

What is it with Irish rockers and charitable causes? Brian Crosby of the band Bell X1 decided to grab some musician friends (from outfits such as Snow Patrol, The Frames/ONCE, Crowded House, and The Cardigans) and record tracks for a CD to benefit Oxfam’s Fair Trade campaign.

“We wanted to make an album that benefited this great cause but also one whose songs related to each other in a relevant way,” Crosby explained.
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Profits with Purpose: Equal Exchange

- Fast Company

Equal Exchange is an unusual company — a worker-owned co-operative dedicated to Fair Trade — that has made a success of tilting against the windmills of market forces for the purpose of demonstrating that the viability of economic democracy, and the way your food reaches your plate, needn’t impoverish those who grew it. (more…)

Florida Farmworkers Protest Burger King Over Low Wages, Exploitation

- Fox News

MIAMI — Farmworkers, union members and activists marched through city streets to Burger King headquarters Friday to protest low wages for tomato pickers and alleged exploitation of field workers. (more…)

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