In the past few months, the US Fair Trade movement has seen some dramatic changes. Some would more aptly describe the situation in stronger negative words. For example, TransFair USA changed its name, apparently with little input from its grass roots supporters, to Fair Trade USA. Some activists feel no one group, organization, or person should own the words “Fair Trade USA”.
Then TransFair USA announced it was leaving FLO, the international body that sets the Fair Trade criteria and standards for both products and producers. These dramatic decisions by TransFair USA were apparently not made transparently or with democratic involvement from grass roots supporters, two essential guiding principles of Fair Trade.
As a result, several organizations decided that these changes should be addressed. They pulled together folks from a variety of companies and organizations to discuss concerns and how to move forward. Thus the North American Fair Trade Stakeholders Council was created. Fair Trade Burlington Network has been asked to participate in this Council. We look forward to this involvement and will keep you informed as things progress. Check out Fair Trade Resource Network and Fair World Project for more details.