Trade can help reduce poverty and encourage sustainable development, but only if it is used for that purpose with greater equity and transparency. We continue to grow Fairtrade America so that ultimately, farmers and workers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on their future.
Fairtrade America was established in 2012 to maintain the integrity of the Fairtrade system in the United States and build the market for Fairtrade products. Over the past year and a half we have dramatically increased Fairtrade America’s ability to serve the growing demand for Fairtrade products and support the overall fair trade movement with 13 fulltime staff.
We strive to make Fairtrade America an organization that brings people together and seeks out diverse views to inform our strategy and practices. In 2015, Fairtrade America established an Advisory Council to help us increase stakeholder engagement and accountability, and ensure that Fairtrade America is an effective contributor to the fair trade movement in the US and the world.
This Advisory Council meets on a quarterly basis. While the group does not have decision-making authority, their input is invaluable in helping Fairtrade America tackle challenges and stay in tune with the wider fair trade movement.
Current membership includes:
In June 2016, Fairtrade America hosted representatives from the three Fairtrade Producer Networks that represent farmers and workers in Asia and the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Fairtrade America is ideally situated to help the producer networks develop a resource base that can support producers in areas they deem most critical for the future of sustainable agriculture, including:
Fairtrade America is ramping up efforts to become a donor matchmaker for the Fairtrade Producer Networks and producer organizations. In the coming year we will work to identify and develop partnerships that can help producer organizations address their needs beyond the buying and selling of products on Fairtrade terms.