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.

Monthly Archives: March 2012

Campaign Asks Hershey to Commit to Fair Trade Cocoa for Easter


The Raise the Bar, Hershey! coalition, which has generated over 100,000 letters urging The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) to commit to buying cocoa produced without forced child labor, launched an Easter petition drive today getting thousands to tell Hershey and Cadbury they want Fair Trade chocolate options for the holiday.

The petition to Hershey and Kraft/Cadbury is live at:

More about the Easter campaign

Doug Dirks Named New CEO of Ten Thousand Villages USA


The Ten Thousand Villages USA Board Chair announced today the following:

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Ten Thousand Villages in the United States, I am pleased to announce that Doug Dirks has accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer at Ten Thousand Villages effective Monday, April 2, 2012.  Doug brings over 25 years of experience in international relations, fair trade and senior leadership at Ten Thousand Villages.  Doug is a dedicated leader with excellent communication skills, financial acumen, a thoughtful spirit and strong faith. (more…)

Free (Virtual) Participation Available for 4th Fair Trade Symposium April 2-4


Following the first three Fair Trade International Symposiums held in Montreal (2002 and 2006) and Montpellier (2008), a 4th symposium will be held at Liverpool Hope Business School (in the UK) on 2nd-4th April 2012. For this 4th edition, the symposium gathering academics and practitioners will host the final conference of the EU-funded “GeoFairTrade” project.

The aim of the symposiums is to bring together the worlds leading and newly emerging academic researchers, with practitioners, policy makers and the general public, for the development and consolidation of collective knowledge on the subject of “fair trade”.

Book virtual participation for free


Record # of Events & Participants Expected for WFTD!


World Fair Trade Day in N. America is headed for a record # of events and participants May 6-20, 2012! The previous records were 456 events (set in 2009) and 50,000-70,000 participants (in 2009, 2010 and 2011). This year, over 700 events involving over 100,000 participants have been announced so far by event organizers! FTRN now expects over 1000 events, involving over 100,000 people, to celebrate Fair Trade this year. More at Events calendar.

The main reason for this year’s increase in activity is the success of one initiative in recruiting over 650 retail locations thus far. The fair trade advocacy organization, Fair World Project (FWP), is coordinating more than 650 retail store events (and growing) for WFTD. The coordinated campaign to celebrate and promote WFTD is being sponsored by dedicated fair trade brands Alaffia, Alter Eco, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Guayaki, Equal Exchange, and Maggie’s Organics.

Please join advocates in supporting the largest Fair Trade event in N. America each year, and in celebrating the “Best in Fair Trade” Award winners. The public can nominate nonprofits or businesses until March31, and vote for winners from April 16-30. Nominate and vote at “Best in Fair Trade” Awards.

More on FWP’s WFTD initiative at FWP News Release

More on World Fair Trade Day in N. America at FTRN WFTD

FLO Announces Next Steps for Operating in USA


Fairtrade International (FLO) announced 3 important steps for how it will operate in the U.S. market given the January 1 split of Fair Trade USA from FLO’s system:

  • FLO will create a legal presence in the USA by early April to facilitate use of the international FAIRTRADE Mark in the market there.
  • In parallel, FLO will work with stakeholders to design and build an organizational structure which will reflect the needs of the USA market, featuring appropriate structure, good governance, accountability and a strong voice for Fair Trade in the USA. FLO typically calls such structures marketing organizations, or labeling initiatives.
  • In 2012-13, while the operating model is being established, FLO member organization Fairtrade Canada will continue to assist companies who would like to remain part of the global Fairtrade system.

These steps follow the departure of FTUSA from the FLO system as of January 1, 2012. FLO intends to compete respectfully with FTUSA and other Fair Trade models.

More at FLO news post.

“How Should, or Shouldn’t, Fair Trade Be Applied to Producers in Developed Countries?” - Webinar Coming May 7


Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN) announces that Webinar #122 is coming May 7 to help inform a major issue in Fair Trade’s direction, “How Should, or Shouldn’t, Fair Trade Be Applied to Producers in Developed Countries?” The webinar is for the public to discuss implications and ask questions to 2 panelists:

1. Kerstin Lindgren, Domestic Fair Trade Association, Executive Director
2. Jonathan Rosenthal, Just Works Consulting, Partner (and Co-Founder of Equal Exchange)

See more details below.

Register for Webinar #122


“Best in Fair Trade” Award Nominations Close March 31


Only 3 weeks are left to nominate organizations for the first inclusive “Best in Fair Trade” Awards for N. America nonprofits & businesses. The public can nominate (by March 31), and vote, for U.S. & Canada organizations doing exemplary work in Fair Trade in 5 categories: Most positive change in a producer community; Outstanding long-term commitment to producers; Best support of the Fair Trade movement; Most effective public education program; Most effective advocacy for trade policy reform.

FTRN created the contest since no awards existed to honor organizations across all major Fair Trade recognitions. Winners will be celebrated during World Fair Trade Day in May!

Nominate, or self-nominate, nonprofits and businesses before March 31. The public will then vote for any finalists during April.

More at “Best in Fair Trade” Awards

Over 500 Stores to Participate in WFTD Campaign with FWP & 6 Dedicated Brands


Dedicated Fair Trade Brands Announce Major Consumer Campaign for World Fair Trade Day -­ May 12, 2012

More than 500 Retailer Events Planned - National Contest Offers a Fair Trade Adventure to Sri Lanka

PORTLAND, OR – The fair trade advocacy organization, Fair World Project (FWP), will coordinate more than 500 retail store events on World Fair Trade Day, May 12, 2012.  The coordinated campaign to celebrate and promote World Fair Trade Day is being sponsored by dedicated fair trade brands Alaffia, Alter Eco, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Guayaki, Equal Exchange, and Maggie’s Organics. (more…)

Independent Smallholder Standard of FTUSA Open to Public Comments Through April 13


Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) is inviting public comments through April 13 on its new draft standard for Independent Smallholders. The standard applies to smallholder producers who are not organized into cooperatives or associations. Thus far, “Fair Trade Certified” certification for most products has been open only to producer cooperatives and large farms.

The Independent Smallholder Standard allows such producers to access the Fair Trade market by working with a ‘Market Access Partner’ (e.g.  an exporter, mill, processor, or NGO marketing organization) that holds the Fair Trade certificate on behalf of a group of independent smallholders and ensures that the standards are met. The smallholders qualify immediately for Fair Trade pricing and premiums, as well as from training provided by the Market Access Partner. Over time, the smallholders must form an independent association to negotiate pricing as a group, and they can eventually choose to create a cooperative-like organization and sell products directly.

FTUSA’s hope is that this new Independent Smallholder Standard will encompass many of the strengths of cooperatives, while allowing smallholders the time and capacity needed to decide if they want to form their own independent selling organizations. But FTUSA also wants to ensure that the market for products from existing Fair Trade Smallholder Organizations continues to grow, and to that aim FTUSA will be first testing this standard with only a limited number of setups in coffee and produce.

The public can read the draft standard and provide any feedback, directly to by April 15, 2012. FTUSA intends to publish Version 1.0 of the Independent Smallholder Standard in the third quarter of 2012.