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This is what authentic fair trade looks like: Visiting Tierra Nueva co-op in Nicaragua by Dana Geffner

Olivia and Wendy

We leave Granada and drive a few hours through a beautiful lush landscape, horses and cows line the side of the roads, people selling honey and fruit as we make our way to Boaco, in the central part of Nicaragua. We are on our way to visit one of Equal Exchange’s coffee co-op partners to […]

Addressing Synbio and Genetic Engineering in Fair Trade and Eco-Social Certification

On June 16, Fair World Project sent letters to Fair Trade USA (FTUSA), Fairtrade International (FLO), Institute for Market Ecology (IMO), and Rainforest Alliance asking them to state and improve their positions on genetic engineering and especially synthetic biology (synbio). Synbio is a technology that allows chemical companies to create ingredients in vats via synthetic […]

What is Food Sovereignty?

“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than […]

A ‘Naked’ Fair Wash?

So, Naked Juice is getting into the fair trade game, marketing a new fair trade coconut water drink. Great news, right? Not so fast. Naked Juice recently launched a fair trade coconut water drink, certified by Fair Trade USA (FTUSA), raising major concerns for fair trade consumers and advocates. For Fair World Project’s take on […]

Exploring Fair Trade Apparel Part 4

supply change

The Apparel Industry in a Nutshell The tragic events in Bangladesh underscore that the apparel industry remains one of the most dangerous and abusive industries on the planet. From child labor on cotton plantations and impoverished cotton producers in West Africa, to dangerous working conditions and poverty wages throughout the Global South, including the Global […]

Tale of Two Wal-Marts

Big news was announced on January 16th when Wal-Mart and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) signed an historic agreement for the world’s largest retailer to join the CIW’s Fair Food Program.  As part of the agreement, Walmart will work with the CIW to expand the Fair Food Program beyond Florida and into “other crops beyond tomatoes in its […]

Exploring Fair Trade Apparel Part 3: Small cotton farmers continue to get the shaft


As we noted in our last installment of this series exploring fair trade apparel, factory social audits are not authentic fair trade (FT). Another issue with the focus on factory social audits is that it does nothing for marginalized small-scale farmers. Small and family scale farmers the world over increasingly becoming endangered species. Small farmers […]

Exploring Fair Trade Apparel Part 2: Social Audits Are Not Fair Trade


In our intro exploring fair trade apparel, we explained we are exploring issues with ethical and fair trade apparel generally, and Fair Trade USA’s (FTUSA) apparel program specifically. Because one of our critiques is that the claim of “fair trade” is misleading when placed on a product that has merely passed a social audit at […]

Exploring Fair Trade Apparel


  Fair Trade USA (formerly TransFair USA) and its initiative, Fair Trade For All, aims to expand fair trade certification beyond small organized farmers to agriculture and factory workers, including the apparel sector. Fair World Project (FWP) has chronicled Fair Trade USA’s poor track record in recent years, including the decision to unilaterally change its […]

Free Trade Agreements – Do They Really Affect You?

Tell Congress Vote No on TPP Fast Track

We’ve noticed that some people’s eyes glaze over when we start talking about free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), also called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). We’ve compiled this list to clarify who will be impacted. If none of the below apply to you, […]