The Future of Fair Trade

The fair trade world is experiencing some growing pains. As your source of information on all things fair trade, we want to share with you some of the issues being discussed.

In April, many concerned parties in the fair trade movement gathered for the North American Fair Trade Stakeholders Council just met in Minneapolis. Sandy Wynne was proud to represent Fair Trade Burlington Network in this incredibly important debate/discussion about dealing with the challenges faced by the Fair Trade movement, at the national and international level.

This meeting was the beginning of strengthening the movement and clarifying the roles of certifiers. The goal is to raise the bar for everyone, to reinforce the Fair Trade principles, especially transparency and democratic ideals, and to include the voices of all the stakeholders, especially the small producers and workers in the supply chain. Since the Summit, articles have been popping up and we want to share some of the ones we have found to be most helpful in explaining the problem and encouraging dialogue.

Fair Trade Resource Network
The Fair Trade Resource Network offers a clear summary of the summit and the goals of the stakeholders.  You can find the most current updates on their activities at the Stakeholder Council Page.

Fair Trade International 
Fairtrade International, often still referred to as FLO, has created the Multi-Stakeholder Consultative Group for Fair Trade in the U.S. to help strengthen, solidify and grow the Fair Trade movement in the U.S. while staying true to the internationally recognized Fair Trade principles. This group represents a broad range of stakeholders equally participating in this process.

Fair World Project
Here is a summary from Fair World Project of what is happening in the  movement. While there are many concerns, there are also many opportunities as we move forward in our efforts to make Fair Trade stronger and more united in the effort to help alleviate global poverty.

The Sustainable Business Forum
“A Schism over Fair Trade” is an interesting article well worth reading and will hopefully motivate some in depth discussion and probing questions. The article presents a variety of opinions and issues we are currently facing in the Fair Trade movement.

This is only the beginning of change within the movement. We will continue to keep you informed  and we want you to know that we are available to discuss any of your concerns. Given the current crisis in the U.S. Fair Trade movement, we are hopeful that, in the end, we will have a stronger and healthier movement.

What are your questions? What are your concerns? Let’s keep the conversation going.

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