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Fairtrade America: Bringing the Power of the International Fairtrade System to the United States
Fairtrade America launched this year as the new organization representing the international Fairtrade system in the United States. Fairtrade America is dedicated to expanding the benefits of the international Fairtrade system – and to working with companies, retailers, producers and all fair trade advocates so that more Americans will learn about fair trade, buy fair trade products and have the opportunity to play an active part in empowering small farmers and workers to improve their lives.
Fairtrade works to secure a better deal for farmers and workers and offers consumers a powerful way to instigate change through their everyday shopping. Fairtrade America is excited about the growing number of companies that want to use the international FAIRTRADE Mark. While new to the United States, the label is the most recognized and trusted ethical mark worldwide, backed by internationally-agreed social, economic and environmental Fairtrade standards and audited by a rigorous certification system that is unique in that it covers the entire supply chain – from farm to shelf.
Fairtrade’s vision is for a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfill their potential and decide on their future.
For the past 25 years the international Fairtrade system has taken the vision of pioneering fair traders to the wider public. Here’s how Fairtrade International has grown:
- The international Fairtrade system includes 991 producer organizations and more than 1.2 million smallholders and workers in 66 countries
More than $86 million in Fairtrade premium was paid to producers in 2011 for investment in social, environmental or economic development projects. This premium – paid on top of the agreed price for Fairtrade products – is typically invested in education and healthcare, farm improvements to increase yield and quality, or processing facilities to increase income.
Producers are at the heart of Fairtrade
Farmers and workers have a strong say in how Fairtrade is run. They are represented in Fairtrade’s General Assembly and hold seats on the Board of Directors and its committees. In 2012, the Fairtrade General Assembly voted unanimously to make producers equal owners of the global Fairtrade system.
Fairtrade America is proud to be part of an international Fairtrade system that is united behind a common framework to reform global trade in favor of justice. The system’s shared strategy, Unlocking the Power of the Many, outlines a commitment to work together to unlock the power of disadvantaged producers and workers. In Fairtrade America’s work with smallholders – supporting them to organize, to build thriving businesses and communities – this commitment means:
Read more about the Fairtrade strategic framework, Unlocking the Power of the Many here (PDF).
Celebrating World Fair Trade Day
As part of the World Fair Trade Day activities we are delighted to offer fair trade supporters in the United States a chance to win a basket of Fairtrade certified chocolates, coffee, tea, flowers, a Make Your Own Gummies kit, ice cream, honey, t-shirts and more!
Two lucky winners will receive a basket of Fairtrade certified products and other items from Ben & Jerry’s, BloomQuest, Divine Chocolate, FreshBlooms, Glee Gum, Green & Black’s, Equal Exchange/Oké USA, SeredipiTea, Steep & Brew, Thanksgiving Coffee, and Wholesome Sweeteners. For more details and to enter the Fairtrade America World Fair Trade Day Prize Drawing, click here.
JOIN Fairtrade America! For the latest information, including stories about how fair trade is making a difference for millions of farmers and workers around the world and how you can get involved, join Fairtrade America on Facebook, Twitter and at www.fairtradeamerica.org.
Partnering in Fair Trade with Frontier Natural Products Co-op Benefits Sri Lanka Spice Farmer