Fairtrade America believes that healthy trade terms are every bit as important as the nutritional content of food. But we also realize that Fairtrade is only one part of a healthy diet.
The local food movement, the rising popularity of organic agriculture, and a push for healthier, sustainable supply chains – the American food landscape is changing. We believe that by uniting our voice with the larger fair trade movement and other food movements, we can amplify our messages, together.
In September of 2015, we introduced a completely redesigned www.fairtradeamerica.org with a wealth of information on the challenges that farmers and workers face and how Fairtrade helps balance the terms of trade.
Social media has proven an effective tool for building sharing Fairtrade’s message and galvanizing our supporter base. Between 2015 and mid-2016 Fairtrade America held 11 chats on Twitter. We partnered with organizations like Ten Thousand Villages (@Villages), Catholic Relief Services (@CRSEthicalTrade), Fairtrade International (@Fairtrade), and UNICEF’s End Trafficking (@EndTraffick) to educate the public on issues around gender equality, ethical shopping, and how consumers can help stop child and forced labor.
Each chat attracted 90-200 participants across the country, and we reached over 5.4 million users across all chats. Look for @FairtradeMarkUS across your favorite social media channels and help us spread the word.
-Molly Lederer, Director of Communications & Marketing, Glee Gum
In honor of World Fair Trade Day in May 2016, we joined other members of the international Fairtrade system to host the Fairtrade Coffee Challenge – the world’s largest coffee break. As part of the initiative, Fairtrade America partnered with the Guatemalan and Bolivian embassies to hold two successful Fairtrade coffee breaks featuring coffee from their respective countries. Over 2,000 people lined up for specialty coffee from Fairtrade farmers and learned about the impact Fairtrade makes.
We were invited back to the Embassy of Guatemala the following week, where we co-hosted a coffee tasting, happy hour, and panel discussion on “Changing Trade, Changing Lives”. Panel members included Ritu Sharma of Fairtrade America’s Advisory Council; Fairtrade coffee co-op Kishé Foods; Fairtrade International’s labor specialist Wilbert Flinterman; and Guatemala’s Trade Attaché Miguel Solis.
We look forward to increase our connection with embassies from Fairtrade producer countries to promote Fairtrade products and connect more Fairtrade producers with American consumers.
The commitments made during the establishment of the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development affect the whole planet. Hans Theyer, CEO of Fairtrade America, was on-hand as world leaders debated the new framework to deliver a statement on behalf of the global Fairtrade system demanding that fair trade principles and the voices of smallholder farmers and workers be heard. Marike de Peña, Chair of Fairtrade International, reflected on the importance of the Goals to smallholder farmers and workers worldwide. Read more
Fairtrade released the report ‘Sustainable Development Goals and Fairtrade: The Case for Partnership’ about the tangible ways Fairtrade is achieving results in partnership with others in export supply chains. Download the report (PDF)
The Fair Trade Towns movement began 16 years ago and has grown to more than 1,800 towns across 28 countries. In the US there are over 275 Fair Trade towns, congregations, universities and schools. Fairtrade America has increased our cooperation with Fair Trade Campaigns to support their efforts in educating and organizing a movement of involved and socially aware people.
In 2016, we supported Fair Trade Campaigns with materials for kits they shared with fair trade ambassador and by speaking at their Philadelphia conference in September. Fairtrade brands like Endangered Species Chocolate and Glee Gum donated their Fairtrade certified products to their Fair Trade Your Finals campus initiative and prizes for their Fair Trade Month photo contest.