No Compromise on Fast Track
Although the Camp-Baucus Fast Track bill has lost momentum, it is still important to tell your legislators that you oppose fast track in any form.
Stop Suicide Seeds in Brazil
Take action! Sign the petition to Brazil’s Commission on Constitution and Justice (CCJ) and urge them to reject the Suicide Seed bill!
Save the Fair Minimum Wage Act
Tell your Representative that the Harkin-Miller Fair Minimum Wage Act deserves a vote and to sign the Discharge Petition.
Fair Trade Is a Movement, Not a Market Niche: Tell brands that sell fair trade products to also support fair trade policies!
Tell Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Starbucks, and Honest Tea that it is important to support fair trade policies if they are serious about fair trade. They should ensure that their influence is used to demand fair and transparent trade policies that benefit farmers and workers.
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
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.
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.
Letters to President Obama Asking for Transparency for the TPP.
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. Though TPP negotiations are still going forward in a concerning way, these efforts, combined with those of allies, have brought more media and public attention to the issue and several legislators have stepped forward with concerns echoing those of consumer groups. Our current action to ensure fair trade policy focuses on directly contacting Senators and Representatives. You can also learn more by checking our trade policy page.
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.