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Advocating for Farmworker Justice from Farm to Federal Legislation

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Over the winter, nearly 10,000 concerned consumers wrote to Driscoll’s on behalf of farmworkers at Sakuma Brother’s farm in Washington. At the start of the growing season, over 6,000 concerned consumers wrote directly to Sakuma CEO Danny Weeden to ask him to sit down with Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), the independent union at […]

New study compares Fairtrade International to Small Producer Symbol


A new article by Patrick Clark and Ian Hussey just published in New Political Economy compares the certification systems of Fairtrade International (FTI) and the Small Producer Symbol (SPP), looking at internal and external oversight, governance structure, and covering the history of fair trade certification through which FTI evolved and SPP emerged. For those wanting […]

Recent Investigation Reminds Us Tea Workers Need More Than Certification

A joint investigation between Radio 4’s File and BBC News recently uncovered inhumane conditions on tea plantations in Assam, India. Crumbling housing and unhygienic conditions, child working in the fields, workers spraying pesticides without any protective equipment, and children unable to break cycles of disease and malnutrition were some of the concerns raised in the […]

Unregulated, Unhealthy, and Ineffective: Let’s Put a Stop to NanoRevolution 2.0 Today


One of the undisputed effects of increased use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in agriculture is the increase in super weeds that have accompanied them. Many GMOs, like Roundup Ready soybeans, are genetically engineered to be tolerant of herbicides (like glyphosate or Roundup). That means farmers can spray more herbicide to kill unwanted plants without […]

Trade for the Benefit of People

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In June, despite fierce opposition, and after a roller coaster of debate and voting tricks, Congress granted the President Fast Track authority for trade deals. (Our June newsletter covered some of the reaction to the news.)  This means that the President and the US Trade Representative have broad freedom to continue the largely secret negotiations […]

The Media Got It Wrong: Farmworker Justice and Fumigant Use Are Consumer Concerns


Last week, Capital Public Radio, a National Public Radio station in Sacramento, reported on Driscoll’s commitment to start its organic seedlings organically, despite a federal exemption that allows organic strawberries to start with conventional seedlings. This is an exemption many consumers don’t know about and a change that organic advocates have been campaigning in favor […]

Trading Margaritas for Maize: A New Perspective on Mexico

by guest bloggers Olivia Schott and Emily Silvius Our names are Olivia Schott and Emily Silvius, and we are both sophomores at the University of Cincinnati. Olivia is studying fashion design, and Emily is studying urban planning. We were fortunate enough to be invited on an educational jaunt to Southern Mexico with a group of […]

To Address Child Labor in Cocoa, Hold Companies Accountable, but Give Communities the Voice

It has been nearly three years since Hershey first announced their goal of 100% “certified” cocoa by 2020 in response to consumer pressure and recognition that labor abuses, including human trafficking and child labor, are rampant in the cocoa industry of West Africa. Hershey claims to be ahead of its targets toward this goal. Hershey […]

The Importance of How

CAFO - Animal Cruelty

Both the fair trade and organic movements have at times been called niche markets. Growing, at rates as high as 14% for both, but still a small piece of the market overall. But even this significant growth rate underestimates the even more significant impact of these movements. Where other food-focused movements emphasize what foods to […]

A Visit With Farmers in Chiapas, Mexico

For the past several years it seems everywhere we go, farmers talk, unprompted, about changes in the climate. It’s too hot or too rainy or too dry. Not predictable in any case. This means changes in the Harvest. In Peru we heard that the coffee never really stopped ripening so that the pest cycle was […]