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Advocacy

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Posts about Fair Trade advocacy and action campaigns.

FWP Campaign Asks Brands Participating in Fair Trade to Support Fair Trade Policies

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Fair World Project, an advocacy program of Organic Consumers Association, is inviting Fair Trade supporters to ask Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Starbucks, and Honest Tea to support fair trade policies in government. With current developments heading towards passage of international free trade deals such as Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), FWP believes the companies should ensure that their influence is used to demand fair and transparent trade policies that benefit farmers and workers.

More at FWP campaign

Fair for Life Announces Changes to Its Certification

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“Fair for Life” Certification announced changes to part of its certification program after a revision process ended in December 2013. The changes apply to the certification’s Labelling & Control standards, and to its Handling Operations standards.

More at Fair for Life post

Fairtrade International Makes Major Changes to Strengthen Hired Worker Standards

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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

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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

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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

FairWild Certification Expanding As It Reaches 5th Anniversary

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The innovative, and relatively small FairWild certification for fairly traded, wild-harvested products reached its 5th anniversary this year. This year the system saw a number of new products with FairWild-certified ingredients launched, and FairWild Standard projects underway in Morocco, China, India and beyond.

More at FairWild December newsletter

NY Times: U.S. Gov Apparel Procurement Follows Pattern of Legal Violations & Harsh Labor Conditions

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A major New York Times front-page investigative story published this week exposes a pattern of legal violations and harsh working conditions at US government apparel suppliers in developing countries. It also shows that the US government is relying on Walmart audits that are hiding life-threatening hazards in supplier factories. Labor rights advocates and Fair Trade systems offer positive alternatives to such indignities.

More at NY Times article

Advocates Oppose TPP Fast Track Bill Expected in Congress in January

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United Students for Fair Trade is helping allies oppose the injustices and secrecy of the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade deal, and its potential Fast Track process:

The good news: TPP negotiations in Singapore last week didn’t get as far as they hoped. That means they missed their third deadline for completing this agreement-this is great news! Read more here.

The worse news It looks like after months of stalling, the Fast Track bill is ready to be introduced as soon as Congress gets back from the holidays. That means we don’t have much time left to make sure Congress will do the right thing. Fast Track is the biggest key to taking down the TPP, and right now the battle is very close.

Click here to see where your Congressperson stands on Fast Track and let them know how you feel about it. Call them today to thank them if they’ve committed to vote no. If they haven’t, then they should have a problem on their hands. Call them, email them, tweet at them, and organize an action at their office.

Small Producer Symbol Expands & Diversifies Program

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The Small Producer Symbol (SPP), a producer-led and owned Fair Trade certification system based in Latin America focusing on small producers, has in recent months expanded into more countries, coops and product categories. SPP announced its first organization registration in Germany, which will enable consumers there to become aware of the innovative certification. So far, there are 52 organizations certified by the SPP.

Two coffee producers organizations of Bolivia have recently joined SPP, “La Montaña Verde” and “Antofagasta”. Plus, a fruit producing organization from Ecuador, Urocal, became a new member. Furthermore, SPP celebrates its first  small artisans’ organization, OEPAIC, also from Bolivia.

SPP held its annual conference in Peru, November 7 and 8 , with about a hundred people, most of them small producers, from several countries of Latin America, North America and Europe.

More at SPP post

“Fair Tuesday” Initiative Inspires Ethical Holiday Shopping

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#FairTuesday is an ethical shopping initiative created in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The goal of #FairTuesday is to inspire conscious consumerism. “Fair Tuesday” features Fair Trade and eco-friendly brands, and is inviting other businesses to take a step towards sustainability.

Whether you are an individual, organization, or a member of the press, you can join the #FairTuesday movement in two simple ways: by buying one fair trade item on Tuesday, December 3rd and by helping us spread the word about the movement on social media using hashtag #FairTuesday. If you represent a non-fair-trade business, tell us what you are doing to make your practices more green and fair.

More at Fair Tuesday