Fair Trade Related News & Articles

What is a Conscious Consumer?

I was recently asked whether I consider myself a "locavore." Given how much time I dedicate to writing about sustainability and organics, it's not an unreasonable question, I suppose. Still, as much as I admire the locavore movement (which promotes eco-friendly eating habits, particularly the consumption of locally grown crops and organics), I have to admit, I'm just not there, and I don't know that I ever will be. Sustainability, carbon footprint reduction, organics, and small farming are important issues to me, yet I still shop at major grocery stores (with my cloth bags, of course!), I still let my daughter eat those horrible little orange goldfish crackers, and I still eat Cheerios. Yes, the completely not-organic Honey Nut kind. We all have our weaknesses.

Read more: What is a Conscious Consumer?

 

WFTO Fair Trade Principles

The World Fair Trade Organizations (WFTO) is, as they say on their website, a global authority on Fair Trade. It is a membership organization with the membership limited to organisations that demonstrate a 100% Fair Trade commitment and apply to their 10 Principles of Fair Trade.

Read more: WFTO Fair Trade Principles

   

The Latest Oxymoron: Oxfam Teams up with Coca-Cola to Reduce Poverty

Why is Oxfam America helping Coca-Cola to market its products in Latin America and Africa? I can only guess that Coca-Cola's grant to Oxfam must have been substantial.

I keep arguing that partnerships and alliances with food corporations put agriculture, food, nutrition, and public health advocacy groups in deep conflict of interest.

Read more: The Latest Oxymoron: Oxfam Teams up with Coca-Cola to Reduce Poverty

   

How Coke and Pepsi Are Buying Off Charities Like Save the Children

Coke and Pepsi's sponsorship of Save the Children seems to have killed the organization's push for soda taxes, and hence, their work to end childhood obesity.

Does corporate social responsibility pay off for corporations? Indeed it does. Corporate money buys silence, if nothing else.

Read more: How Coke and Pepsi Are Buying Off Charities Like Save the Children

   

Coffee Part III - Empowering Communities through Action

This is the third of a three part series on my findings in Aceh, Indonesia. First, I examined a failure in the Fair Trade system and the "negative implications" it has on farmer cooperatives. In the second post, I examined a recent case presenting the cooperative perspective of their dealings with a Fair Trade coffee importer and based on that, explored ways for Fair Traders to keep the system in check. In Part III, I present how I worked with the cooperative to create positive and sustainable solutions.

Read more: Coffee Part III - Empowering Communities through Action

   

Fairtrade Food Sales Continue to Grow Despite Economic Hard Times

In the USA and UK sales of Fairtrade products are reported to have increased dramatically throughout 2010 compared with 2009 despite continued economic hard times for many consumers.

Read more: Fairtrade Food Sales Continue to Grow Despite Economic Hard Times

   

Coffee Part II - It's Not My Problem

This is the second of a three part series on my findings in Aceh, Indonesia. First, I examined a failure in the Fair Trade system and the "negative implications" it has on farmer cooperatives. In this post, I will examine a recent case presenting the cooperative perspective of their dealings with a Fair Trade coffee importer and based on that, explore ways for Fair Traders to keep the system in check. In Part III, I will present how I worked with the cooperative to create positive and sustainable solutions.

Read more: Coffee Part II - It's Not My Problem

   

Coffee Part I - You Can Betray a Principle

This is the first of a three part series on my findings in Aceh, Indonesia. First, I examine a failure in the Fair Trade system and the "negative implications" it has on farmer cooperatives. In Part II, I will examine a recent case presenting the cooperative perspective of their dealings with a Fair Trade coffee importer and based on that, explore ways for Fair Traders to keep the system in check. In Part III, I will present how I worked with the cooperative to create positive and sustainable solutions.

On April 1st, I arrived in Takengon, Aceh, in search of FLO-certified Fair Trade coffee cooperatives. Takengon is a slice of heaven; a picturesque green mountain valley lies cradled 1,300 meters above the sea surrounding a crystal clear lake. A natural mountain high! Much to my delight most of the farming here is done organically and to my surprise, I found not one, but twelve cooperatives united under the Indonesian Fair Trade Producers Association.

Read more: Coffee Part I - You Can Betray a Principle

   

To Tell the Truth: Who Owns Fair Trade?

When TransFair USA announced last fall that it was changing its name to Fair Trade USA, an immediate and on-going tsunami of outrage and indignation burst through the Fair Trade community. Alternative Trade Organizations, 100% Fair Trade roasters, student, religious, and consumer activists, and non-profit organizations, all of whom have dedicated themselves to the difficult but critically important work of building market access for small farmers across the globe, were affronted. How could any single organization, a certifying agency no less, claim the name Fair Trade? Fair Trade is a concept, a way of doing business, a value system, an entire movement built through the convictions and hard work of hundreds of thousands of individuals across the globe. Can one organization simply appropriate all that "Fair Trade" signifies, and claim it for itself?

Read more: To Tell the Truth: Who Owns Fair Trade?

   

Franchising Fair Trade

Our time in the Philippines has come to a close. Admittedly, we have learned many lessons from the Fair Trade movement here, but amongst the most valuable lessons here is how to introduce Fair Trade in local markets. Not surprisingly, many Southern Fair Trade Organizations (FTOs) have overlooked local community and national markets as they focused on exporting to the North. The reasons for this neglect center on the low levels of awareness of Fair Trade in the South; inherent challenges to enter local markets without external support; and the existing focus on catering, marketing and exporting to the North. "How and where do we start?" are often the first questions they face before attempting to enter domestic markets.

Read more: Franchising Fair Trade

   

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