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Take Action: Join the Fight for a Fair Farm Bill
The Farm Bill is a huge piece of legislation that guides close to $100 billion in spending each year for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (80%) and agricultural programs (20%). It is renegotiated approximately every five years and this year is the year.

The next Farm Bill is in early discussions and Congress needs to hear now that we want this massive legislation to ensure healthy farms and healthy food. Read More and Contact your Senators and Representatives now!

Call Your Senators Today: Use our automatic calling system to call your Senators.

Email Your Senators: Send an email and share your opinion on social media.

Take Action: Support Strong Pesticide Regulations!
The Agricultural Worker Protection Standards are the EPA’s regulations that aim to reduce pesticide exposure among agricultural workers and others who handle pesticides. As many as 20,000 farmworkers are victims of pesticide poisoning each year and pesticide exposure leads to higher rates of birth defects in children of farmworkers compared to the general population.

With the EPA threatening to roll back the stronger WPS rules, it is time to take action. You can either contact your senators by phone, or send an email.

Let your Senators know you support a strong WPS!

Take Action: Protect Dreamers
Our food system depends on immigrants from field to fork. Our trade and economic policies shape the livelihoods of people far beyond our borders. Yet too often, our immigration policies have lagged behind, causing suffering for too many people.
Let Congress know that you want speedy action on writing a replacement for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), and that you support a clean bill supporting these “Dreamers,” allowing them to work, learn, and stay with their families.

Tell Congress to Act Now and Defend Dreamers

Take Action: Support Small-Scale Farmers’ Call to Save Fair Trade
Add your name to show solidarity with small-scale farmers who are calling for fair trade to remain a true alternative to conventional markets, based on small-scale production and democratic decision-making!

Add your name to our petition.

Take Action to Tell Congress to support a $15/hour federal minimum wage.
The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25/hour for years. A minimum wage earner’s real purchasing power is worth 25% less today than 50 years ago.

Fair wages can’t wait. Take action today.

Take Action: Make the Fair Trade Promise Reality
In the first days of Trump’s administration, he made trade a priority, even been using words like “fair trade.”

But the future of trade, and its fairness, under Trump is far from clear. Congress must continue to hear from all of demanding truly inclusive and fair trade.

Take Action Today…

FWP Asks Kroger to Expand Fair Trade Partnerships

FWP applauds Kroger’s commitment to fair trade while asking the retailer to partner with all fair trade labels rather than focus on only one.

Fair World Project Letter to ISEAL

Fair World Project Letter to ISEAL regarding Fair Trade USA Membership Application ISEAL Alliance is a membership organization with a mission to strengthen sustainability standards. Fair Trade USA has applied for membership and FWP submitted this letter to ISEAL highlighting areas FTUSA may need additional support in meeting ISEAL’s principles and codes.

Fair Trade: A Movement for All

Fair World Project joins leaders of the fair trade movement to support trade that is truly equitable for all, including artisans, farmers and workers, traders and brands, consumers and civil society.
As the U.S. considers renegotiating or entering into new international trade agreements, we encourage the inclusion of true fair trade principles. Fair trade will never be about exclusion, but about expanding the benefits of trade for those who need it most.

The Evolving Relationship Between Fairtrade and Cadbury – Good News or Bad?
In fall 2016 Cadbury announced it would discontinue use of fair trade seal on chocolate bars. Cadbury was never a fair trade company and should not have been presented as one, yet rather than simply drop misleading claim, Cadbury will replace it with claims based on corporate-led community development program endorsed by Fairtrade International. FWP breaks it down with this statement.

Read Fair World Projects Statement [.pdf]

Positive Progress Between Sakuma Brothers Farm and Familias Unidas por la Justicia August 30, 2016
Fair World Project is pleased to report positive progress in talks between Sakuma Brothers Farm (Sakuma) and Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), where FUJ, an independent farmworker union, has been asking to negotiate a contract with management on behalf of farmworkers since 2013.

Read Fair World Projects Update [.pdf]

Groups Ask Driscoll’s to Follow Through on Commitment to Workers
More than thirty organizations sent a letter to Driscoll’s asking the berry company to make good on its commitment to freedom of association and right to collective bargaining at Sakuma Brothers Farm and beyond.

Read Fair World Projects Letter [.pdf]

Thousands Sign in Support of Farmworkers in Washington
On May 26, 2016 Fair World Project mailed a petition signed by nearly 10,000 consumers to Sakuma Brothers Farm asking management to sit down and negotiate a fair contract with farmworkers there.

Read the letter that accompanied the petition [.pdf]
See the signatures and comments submitted…

Fair World Project Outlines Concerns with Fair Trade USA’s Domestic Farmworker Initiative
Fair World Project, supported by ten other organizations, submitted this letter to Fair Trade USA asking that they label domestic produce from large-scale farms distinctly and that they increase and formalize their partnerships with democratic farmworker organizations. In these ways, Fair Trade USA will not only strengthen their own program, they will do so without undermining other farmworker-led domestic farmworker programs or small-scale farmer programs in the Global South.

View the Letter and its Concerns for Fair Trade USA’s Domestic Farmworker Initiative[.pdf]

FWP opposes multi-million dollar contract to Tyson
The Los Angeles Unified School District is a leader in institutional purchasing with their option of a Good Food Purchasing policy encouraging fair, humane, and environmentally sustainable food. However, Tyson, despite a supply chain that is the opposite of these values, was considered for a large contract with the district because of their ability to provide some chicken products that other companies could not. FWP sent this letter to the school district board urging them to reject the contract with Tyson and uphold their values, even if it meant needing to adjust menus.

Read FWP’s letter opposing multi-million dollar contract to Tyson [.pdf]

ICI Responds Re: Cocoa Pricing
After nearly 10,000 consumers wrote to the International Cocoa (ICI) Institute asking them to include pricing as part of their cocoa strategy, ICI responded with this letter acknowledging that farmer income is one of several important factors in ending child slavery in the sector, but falling short of committing to address pricing directly.

Read International Cocoa Initiative’s Response [.pdf]

Letter to Fair Trade USA regarding stakeholder engagement
Eight organizations submitted a letter to Fair Trade USA to clarify the stakeholder engagement process and expectations for their new domestic farmworker standards.

Read the Letter to Fair Trade USA [.pdf]

FWP Letter to Editor San Francisco Chronicle
FWP director Dana Geffner submitted this letter to the San Francisco Chronicle in response to the inaccurate information contained in the Guide to Fair Trade Labels published on September 8, 2015. The original guide can be found here on the San Francisco Chronicle website…

Read FWP Letter to San Francisco Chronicle [.pdf]

FWP Follow Up to Starbucks
FWP sent a letter to Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz after nearly 5,000 consumers got unsatisfactory responses to letters after Starbucks’ position on free trade policies.

Read our Letter [.pdf]

Update on Driscoll’s Boycott
On March 24, 2015, Fair World Project sent a letter to Driscoll’s signed by nearly 10,000 consumers, expressing concern for farmworkers at Sakuma Brothers farm in Washington, a growing partner of Driscoll’s. Driscoll’s by inviting a dialogue on this issue. Fair World Project accepted this offer for a conversation, and reached out to representatives of the Familias Unidas por la Justicia union from Sakuma Brothers farm and representatives from allied organizations. This is an update from this meeting.

Read the full update [.pdf]

FWP Responds to Yes! Magazine’s analysis of fair trade vs. direct trade.
FWP writes a letter to Yes! Magazine in response to their analysis of Fair Trade vs. direct trade…
Read our letter here [.pdf file]
Read the Yes! magazine article

Nearly 10,000 Consumers Tell Driscoll’s To Be Fair
Farmworkers at Sakuma Brothers Farms have called for a boycott of the farm’s products due to concerns over pay, housing, and working conditions. Driscoll’s is one of Sakuma’s largest buyers and FWP sent a letter to Driscoll’s, signed by nearly 10,000 consumers, asking them to ensure a fair contract for farmworkers or suspend purchases for the farm.
Read our letter to Driscoll (.pdf)

FWP Letters to Nestle Re: Switch From Artificial Vanilla
In February 2015, Nestle announced they would remove artificial colors and flavors from their most popular candy bars. Fair World Project is calling them to take the next step and commit to not use synbio vanilla, a vanilla flavoring that uses genetically engineered yeast to produce, and to work with fair trade farmers to increase the impact of their decision. After an initial response from Nestle Customer Service indicating it had no intention to use synbio vanilla but no response on fair trade, FWP sent a follow up asking for a more formal statement expressing Nestle’s commitment to avoid synbio as well as a response on working with farmers on fair trade terms.
Read the Letter [pdf file]

Read the follow up letter [pdf file]
Read the summary statement of our communication [pdf file]

Broad Coalition Calls For a New Model of Trade
550+ groups reject fast-track trade promotion authority in letter to Sen. Wyden
Read the Letter [pdf file]

FWP Letter to Castle Rock Re: For Life Certification
Fair World Project responded to the press releases issued by Castle Rock Water Company regarding their achievement of For Life social certification. In both their original and updated press release, FWP felt Castle Rock implied their water was certified as fair trade when in reality the company has been certified as socially responsible. FWP believes strongly that water should not be certified fair trade and any publicity by this company should make it clear that it is not.
Read our Letter to Castle Rock Re: For Life Certification [pdf file]

FWP Inquiry to Fair for Life Regarding Certified Bottled Water
FWP sent a letter to Fair for Life regarding a press release issued by Castle Rock brand bottled water announcing their Fair for Life Certification. FWP believes that water is a right not a certifiable commodity. If Castle Rock was certified under For Life for its social responsibility as a company, FWP believes that should be clear and steps should be taken to avoid the impression that the water itself is certified fair trade, as implied in the press release.
Read our Letter to Fair For Life [pdf file]

FWP Comments on Pesticides: Agricultural Worker Protection Standard
On August 7, 2014 FWP submitted comments to the EPA commended some aspects of the proposed Agricultural Worker Protection Standard but asking them to strengthen several aspects. The statement included comments from 199 consumers supporting our stated concerns. Read the full statement submitted to the EPA.
FWP Comments on Pesticides: Agricultural Worker Protection Standard [pdf file]

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 DNA inserted into microbes that are fed sugar or corn syrup. Becaues the stated intention of leading synbio manufacturers is to label and market synbio ingredients as “natural,’ they will undercut and compete unfairly with high value crops that provide sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers. We believe eco-social and fair trade certifiers should direct brands to purchase non-GMO and non-synbio ingredients and that the inclusion of any such ingredients in a composite product should be prohibited ideally or at a minimum clearly labeled to avoid confusion.
Read our letter to Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) [pdf file]
Read our letter to Fairtrade International (FLO) [pdf file]
Read our letter to Institute for Market Ecology (IMO) [pdf file]
Read our letter to Rainforest Alliance [pdf file]

Fair World Project’s Statement in Response to the “Fair Trade Employment and Poverty Reduction in Uganda and Ethiopia Report”
The Fair Trade, Employment and Poverty Reduction Project (FTEPR) released its final report on its four-year research into agricultural labor in Ethiopia and Uganda this past April. This report focuses on complex and important issues, and highlights the prevalence of wage laborers even on small-scale fair trade farms. However, though this report contributes to our understanding of fair trade’s strengths and weaknesses, it does not mean that the fair trade model—conceived as a way to enhance opportunities and market access for small-scale farmers—is not working or should be abandoned. Read FWP’s full statement[…]

Posted on  June 9, 2014

Responses to Fairtrade International’s Fairtrade Sourcing Partnership
Fairtrade International recently released a proposal called the Fairtrade Sourcing Partnership that would allow a fair trade label (similar to the current fair trade mark used by Fairtrade International and its labeling parters such as Fairtrade America) if 100% of either sugar or cocoa are certified, even if other ingredients are not. […]

Posted on November 19, 2013

Fair World Project Statement Regarding Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) Apparel Program
Like many of you, Fair World Project is concerned with the apparel industry and the farmers and workers involved in the complex, often dangerous, supply chain. This has been especially true after the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh where 1,129 workers died in April. We certainly understand the desire to believe there is a fair trade “gold standard” to assure us our clothing is ethically produced at all levels of the supply chain. Unfortunately, Fair Trade USA’s Apparel Program is not it for three main reasons.

Posted on November 5, 2013

Civil Society Priorities in the NAFTA Renegotiation Fair World Project joined over 1,000 organizations calling on Congress for a fair NAFTA. Read the Letter [.pdf]
Posted on March 22nd, 2018
Groups Oppose Attack on Family Farmers Fair World Project joined dozens of other organizations opposing HR 3599, legislation introduced by Representative King that would negatively impact local communities and their ability to control their food and farming system. Read the Letter [.pdf] Posted on February 26th, 2018
DOL, Release Tip Analysis Officials at President Donald Trump’s U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) are deliberately hiding a report that shows its new “tip pooling” rule quite literally will allow restaurant owners to take money out of the pockets of their employees. FWP joined more than 50 organizations demanding the release of the report and withdrawal of corresponding rule. Read the Letter Posted on February 7th, 2018
Letter to Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha regarding criminal defamation We joined with 86 organizations from around the world to express our outrage that these 14 migrant workers are being charged for criminal defamation after reporting conditions of gross abuse to the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand. Read the Letter Posted on September 24th, 2017
Anti-Poverty Advocates Condemn the RAISE Act as an Affront to Working Families In response the introduction of the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Economy Act (RAISE Act), which would drastically reduce legal immigration to the United States, more than 160 organizations from the anti-poverty, health, civil rights, anti-hunger, disability, faith-based and children’s advocacy communities released this statement condemning the proposal. Read the Letter [.pdf] Posted on August 7th, 2017
Comments on Negotiating Objectives Regarding Modernization of North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico Docket ID USTR-2017-006 Fair World Project submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative office on the objectives on the NAFTA renegotiation during open comment period. Read the Letter [.pdf] Posted on June 7th, 2017

FWP Supports Raise the Wage Act of 2017 Fair World Project joined over 100 organizations in supporting the Raise the Wage Act which would raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour over the next several years. Read the Letter [.pdf] Posted on May 25th, 2017

Groups Call for Withdrawal of Puzder Nomination Andrew Puzder is not qualified to fulfill the duties of the Secretary of Labor. Fair World Project joined over 100 organizations to call for his nomination for the position to be withdrawn. Read the Letter [.pdf] Posted on February 13th, 2017
Letter to Congress over concerns about TPP’s impact Fair World Project joined allies including Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Equal Exchange and Dean’s Beans to ask Congress to oppose the TPP over concerns on effects of farmers in the Global South and effect on food security. Read the Letter Posted on April 21st, 2016

Declaration on Toxic Nano Waste Over 80 civil society & research organizations agree that producers of nanotechnology must take full responsibility to ensure safe management of Nano Waste. Our Declaration and its supporters call upon companies and policy-makers to take this step to implement real solutions that will prevent exposure to potential toxicity in nanomaterials. Read the declaration [.pdf] Posted on April 14th, 2016

Solidarity With Lexmark Workers FWP joined allies in support of workers at a Lexmark factory in Juarez who are protesting extremely low wages and poor working conditions. Attempts to protest and organize have been met with retaliation. Read the letter [.pdf] Posted on March 24th, 2016

Coalition letter opposing COOL repeal and voluntary COOL… Food and Water Watch has once again asked Congress to protect Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) as mandatory. This time 142 organizations, including FWP, signed a letter in support of COOL that was delivered to every Congressional office. Read the letter [.pdf] Posted on August 10th, 2015

Groups Support Thailand’s Tier 3 Ranking in Trafficking in Persons Report The latest US Trafficking in Persons report confirms that Thailand is still not doing enough to combat Human Trafficking and migrant workers in particular are still at risk. Fair World Project joined International Labor Rights Forum and other allies in sending a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry applauding maintaining Thailand’s Tier 3 ranking in the report. [Read More…]

Thailand must end harassment of researchers and human rights defenders Several dozen NGOs and trade unions, including Fair World Project, have asked Thailand to end harassment of researchers and human rights defenders, including Finish researcher Andy Hall, who is facing charges brought by Natural Fruit after his research revealed labor abuses at the company. Read the Letter [.pdf] Posted on July 23rd, 2015

Diverse Coalition Asks Congress to Oppose COOL Repeal FWP joined nearly 300 groups representing a wide range of interests, including farmers, workers, consumers and environmentalists to urge Congress not to repeal country-of-origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and chicken. The groups argue that although the World Trade Organization has ruled against the current COOL rule, “the United States has a sovereign right to allow the dispute process to proceed to its completion and then decide how and whether to implement the adverse ruling.” Read the Letter [.pdf] Posted on June 17th, 2015

Over 2,000 Groups Urge Opposition to Fast Track Within a week of the introduction of the Ryan-Hatch Fast Track Bill, a diverse coalition of over 2,000 groups sent a letter to Congress outlining their case for opposing it. Read the Letter [.pdf] Posted on May 4th, 2015

Recruitment of Thai Prisoners to Work on Thai Fishing Boats Fair World Project joined the International Labor Rights Forum and more than 40 other non-governmental organizations globally to express concern over a pilot project proposed by the Thai government to recruit prisoners to work on fishing vessels, posing serious human rights violations. Read the Letter – English [.pdf] Read the Letter – Thai Translation [.pdf] Posted on January 20, 2015

Advocates to Sec Kerry: Don’t Jeopardize Successful Food Program in El Salvador The Office of US Trade Representative and the quasi government agency Millennium Challenge Corporation recently came under fire from both NGOs and Congressional Leaders after threatening to withhold aid from El Salvador if they did not drop a successful seed program that had helped farmers grow more staple crops and earn more money, in favor of a plan that would favor corporations pushing GMO seeds for profits. FWP was one of the organizations that signed a letter to Secretary of State Kerry asking him to support the countries seed program. After pressure from within government and from advocates, the US has appeared to soften its stance on the program. Read the press release and letter… Read an update on the apparent progress in saving the seed program…

Groups Act to Protect Country of Origin Labeling The undersigned 179 farm, rural, faith, environmental, labor, farmworker and consumer organizations respectfully urge you to support basic food labeling and to reject any attempts to defund or undermine Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) law and regulations. Consumers want to know more, not less, about the origins of their food and using an appropriations rider to deny them that knowledge is unacceptable. Cool Rider Sign-on Letter to Senate [.pdf] Cool Rider Sign-on Letter to House [.pdf]

Groups Act to Groups Urge Congress to Protect Family Farmers Through Packers and Stockyards Act The Packers and Stockyards Act is one of the most important federal statutes for our nation’s livestock and poultry farmers and ranchers. It prohibits meatpackers and poultry companies from using their market power to subject farmers and ranchers to anticompetitive, deceptive, fraudulent and abusive business practices. Although the Act was originally enacted in 1921, its importance is even greater now because of the growth and vertical integration of meatpacker and poultry companies. This has given them considerable market power and enabled contracting practices that are abusive and harmful to family farmers. The undersigned 168 farmer, rancher, consumer, labor, farmworker and faith organizations are writing to urge your opposition to any appropriations policy riders to limit the rulemaking authority of the Secretary of Agriculture under the Packers and Stockyards Act. Anti-GIPSA Rider Sign-on Letter to Senate [.pdf] Anti-GIPSA Rider Sign-on Letter to House [.pdf]

Open Letter to Ecover and Method FWP was one of more than a dozen organizations to sign an open letter to Ecover and Method regarding their unfortunate decision to use ingredients derived from Synthetically Modified Organisms (SMOs) in its products [PDF FILE…]

Human Trafficking in Thailand In May 2004 FWP joined International Labor Rights Forum and other allies to ask Secretary of State Kerry to take action to address human trafficking in Thailand. [PDF FILE…] In June 2014 FWP joined ILRF and allies to thank Secretary of State Kerry for the US State Department’s decision to downgrade Thailand to Tier 3 in the Global Trafficking in Persons Report to reflect changes Thailand needs to make to address these issues. [PDF FILE…]

Open Letter to Harvard University Regarding Land-Grabbing Investments Fair World Project joined other civil society organizations in a letter to Harvard University to express our deep concern about the university’s troubling investments in farmland, forests and other natural resources around the world. [PDF FILE…]

Over 550 Groups Urge Opposition to Fast Track Over 550 groups, including FWP, signed a letter dated January 27, 2014, urging Congress to oppose the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act” (Fast Track) which would increase the President’s ability to pass trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that will have negative impacts on farmers, workers, and consumers. [PDF FILE…]

Preserving Country of Origin Labeling Rules in Farm Bill Fair World Project joined nearly 100 organizations asking the Farm Bill conference to preserve Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules that provide accurate information about the source of food. code for dots: [PDF FILE…]

Human Rights and a Burger Giant Fair World Project joined over 75 food movement leaders in an open letter to Wendy’s asking them to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers-led Fair Food, a partnership among corporate retailers, tomato farms, and farmworkers to create a more fair and sustainable industry.

TTIP/TAFTA Crossborder Letter Re-Release Fair World Project joined nearly 100 organization in the US and Europe register our early concern about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), also known as Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), based on the information about the coming negotiations and state our opposition to the use of behind-closed-door trade negotiations to change and lower public interest measures for the sake of commercial interests. This letter was sent at the start of the second round of negotiations in Brussels the week of November 11, 2013. […]

Over 400 organizations, including FWP, signed a letter demanding Congress pass a Full and Fair 2013 Farm Bill.

Stop the TPP
After years of protests against the TPP, the people were finally heard and Congress and the Obama administration conceded that they did not have the votes to pass it at the end of 2016. Read more on its demise…

Make Fair Pricing Part of Strategy to Eliminate Child Labor
The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) calls itself the “leading organization promoting child protection in cocoa-growing communities.” With members like Mars, Hershey, Mondelez, Cargill, and Nestle, they have influence and resources backing them, yet they have not made sufficient progress in in eliminating and reducing child labor in cocoa and they have not included fair pricing as part of its strategy. Fair World Project generated over 10,000 letters to ICI asking them to do more to ensure fair prices for farmers and received this unsatisfactory response. Fair World Project continues to advocate for fair trade principles in the cocoa industry.

Tell Sakuma Brothers Farm: Farmworkers Need a Fair Contract!
Farmworkers at Sakuma Brothers Farm are still waiting for the chance to negotiate a fair contract. 10,000 Fair World Project supporters signed our petition to ask Sakuma Brothers to make good on their stated commitment to worker welfare and negotiate a fair contract.

Tell Sakuma Brothers to Recognize Familias Unidas por la Justicia!
Over 5,000 people sent emails to Sakuma Brothers farm in Washington and its CEO Danny Weeden over the 2015 growing season asking them to recognize the independent union Familias Unidas por la Justicia and to negotiate a fair contract. Over the growing season, farmworkers walked off the job several times, forcing Sakuma to renegotiate payment terms several times for different berries. However, managers continued to refuse to sit down and negotiate a comprehensive and long-term contract. FWP continues to support the workers at Sakuma Brothers and will continue to post updates and action opportunities. You can also get updates directly from Familias Unidas on their website:

Tell President Obama to Release the Text of the TPP
As the Trans Pacific Partnership was secretly negotiated, President Obama repeatedly assured the public it would not be another NAFTA-like agreement. Thousands of concerned people wrote the President to ask him to release the text of the TPP as proof. However, the text of the TPP was not made public until after negotiators had finalized it.

Tell Starbucks to Speak Out Against Unfair Trade
Over 5,000 people wrote to Starbucks in the spring and summer of 2015 asking them to speak out against Fast Track and the TPP and to use their influence to demand fair trade policies for farmers. After receiving unsatisfactory responses, many people also made follow up phone calls and Fair World Project wrote a letter to Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz. Starbucks has been unwilling to engage in this conversation and points only to their commitment to “ethical” purchases of coffee, apparently willfully ignorant of the fact that trade policies like the TPP have the potential to harm farmers beyond the point at which ethical purchasing can help. We hope that Starbucks will eventually take these concerns seriously. In the mean time, we continue to promote fair roasters who advocate for fair policies to supplement their fair buying relationships with farmers. See our coffee brand analysis to learn more:

Defeating Fast Track Now in Hands of House
Giving the President a green light to negotiate a trade deal in secret with only the help of corporate advisors rightly leaves us skeptical, especially when leaked drafts from the current Trans Pacific Partnership agreement raise red flags.

Fast Track is unpopular and the House of Representatives now has a chance to defeat it.

Tell Walmart and Children’s Place to Compensate Victims of Rana Plaza
On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed killing more than 1,100 garment workers. Allies like International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) immediately advocated for changes in the industry to ensure this would not happen again as well as for victims to be compensated by brands who relied on this factory. By the one-year anniversary, brands had paid only token amounts into a fund for victims and their families. FWP supported the effort by targeting Walmart and Children’s Place and asking them to pay more. Approaching the second-year anniversary of the collapse, the fund was $9 million short. With a contribution on the two-year anniversary by Children’s Place, the fund was just $2.7 million short of the full compensation goal, showing that the demonstrations and letters by concerned consumers did have an effect. ILRF continues to lead the effort to ensure fair compensation and fair working conditions.

Tell Discoll’s to stop purchasing from Sakuma Brother’s
Farmworkers at the Sakuma Brothers berry farm in Washington state have been in a years-long struggle for fair pay and rights protection with farm owners. Tell Discoll’s to stop purchasing from Sakuma Brother’s until they negotiate a fair contract with Familias Unidas por la Justicia! Read more…

Join Vandana Shiva on the call for Seed Freedom and Food Democracy
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, invited President Obama to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26th 2015. In anticipation of this visit and in the context of the two countries’ varying views on seed freedom and food democracy, activist, author and physicist, Dr. Vandana Shiva penned an open letter to Indian Prime Minister Modi and President Obama on Seed Freedom and Food Democracy. Over 15,000 people signed on to Dr. Shiva’s letter.

Take Action: Tell the UN that Small Farmers Cool Planet and Feed the World
Over 450,000 people converged in New York in September 2014 to demand action climate from United Nations (UN) and world governments. The People’s March marked the beginning of a new era in climate activism, now including farmers, consumers and fair trade advocates.

Sign the Petition: Synthetic Biology is Not “Natural”
As consumers, we trust that when a company calls itself natural and sustainable, its products won’t contain ingredients produced via genetic engineering or synthetic biology. Method’s parent company, Ecover, has just announced that it will be introducing a new ingredient, synthetic biology-derived algal oil, into its products. Method has indicated that it will follow the same route. This oil will be produced with new, virtually unregulated, unassessed experimental extreme genetic techniques.

Federal Fair Minimum Wage Act
The Fair Minimum Wage Act would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 and raise the tipped wage as well. When Speaker of the House John Boehner announced he would not even introduce the bill in 2014, we facilitated an alert to encourage other Representatives to sign a Discharge Petition and force a vote. The procedural measure has failed and the best home for immediate action to increase wages for low-wage workers is at the state level. FWP continues to work with allies, especially the Food Chain Workers Alliance, to advocate for increased minimum wages.

The Pledge to Tell Walmart to Be Fair
For International Food Workers Week 2013, nearly 5,000 people signed our pledge to stand in solidarity with Walmart employees and the workers and farmers who supply them, in the face of chronic mistreatment and unfair payment by Walmart. Since then, Walmart has shown some hope for improvement by signing the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food agreement, but that only helps workers in one supply chain. We continue to work within the Food Chain Workers Alliance for more widespread change and support campaigns such as the worker organization Our Walmart.

Transparency for TPP and No Fast Track
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive trade agreement involving the US and 11 other countries along the Pacific Rim. Not only is it expected to have negative consequences for farmers, workers, and consumers, negotiations have been largely secret. To raise awareness for this largely hidden agreement, in 2012, FWP joined other allies in social media and street actions, as well as with an alert facilitating thousands of letters sent directly to President Obama urging him to ensure a fair trade policy that benefits farmers, workers, and consumers, and make the process more transparent. We also facilitated letter-writing to Senators and Representatives asking them to reject Fast Track, both the bill introduced in January 2014, and any compromise form that may be later introduced. Fortunately, due to strong public outcry, a few leaders in Congress, and flaws in the process, momentum for TPP and Fast Track are slowing. We continue to monitor this situation, along with negotiations for another major trade agreement, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). You can also learn more by checking our trade policy page or by watching our Free Trade vs. Fair Trade video.

Additional Trade Policy Advocacy.
Though 2012 was the year that trade policy advocacy increased for both FWP and many of our allies, both because of the immediacy of the TPP threat as well as the introduction of a new agreement—the Trans Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), FWP has been advocating against detrimental free trade policies and for fair policies since our inception in 2010. Past actions include an early version of a letter to Congress and Governors opposing TPP, a letter asking President Obama to postpone implementation of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement until they address grave labor rights abuses, and an alert requesting Representatives sign onto a letter issued by Reps DeLauro and Miller demanding greater transparency for the TPP process.

Letters to Starbucks CEO and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters CEO Asking Them to Support Small Farmers and Stop “Fair Trade “ Coffee Plantations.
After Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) initiated its Fair Trade For All program, which for the first time opened fair trade certification to coffee plantations, FWP facilitated a letter writing campaign asking Starbucks and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, two of the largest coffee roasters that are FTUSA licensees, to decline participation in this program. More than 2,000 concerned consumers sent letters to Starbucks, Green Mountain, and FTUSA, but none have committed to exclude plantations from “fair trade” coffee. In part in response to this, FWP no longer recognizes FTUSA as a legitimate fair trade certifier. We continue to monitor and educate about the issue.

Engagement to Tell Hershey to Be Fair.
Building on and in conjunction with the Raise the Bar campaign, FWP engaged in the campaign to tell Hershey that buying cocoa from sources that exploit child workers is not acceptable. As part of this campaign, in addition to letters sent directly to Hershey’s, nearly 5,000 people wrote letters to Whole Foods Market asking them to stop carrying all Hershey’s brand products. Shortly after, Whole Foods Market announced that they would do just that, leading in turn to Hershey announcing they would certify all cocoa in coming years. FWP considers Hershey’s commitment only a partial victory and continues to monitor progress toward a truly fair supply chain.

Engagement with Fair Trade USA, Formerly Transfair USA.
When then Transfair USA announced that they would change their name to Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) and later that they would leave the Fairtrade International System, FWP and more than 10,000 concerned consumers expressed concern. The name Fair Trade USA implies FTUSA thinks they own fair trade in the US, though they simply offer a single service, certification, that one segment of a large movement actually uses. Leaving the established international fair trade system meant that they left the system where fair trade farmers actually have a voice and means FTUSA is no longer accountable to farmers or an established system of certification. These changes were indeed accompanied by the alarming announcement that FTUSA would open up certification to coffee plantations, despite demands by small-scale fair trade coffee farmers that they not. Despite broad concern expressed by consumers, authentic fair traders, farmer groups, and advocacy organizations, Fair Trade USA went ahead with each of these changes.