Fair World Project is a 501c(3), your donations are tax deductible.
Dear FWP Subscriber,
Introducing Our New Campaign Coordinator: Kerstin Lindgren
We are very excited to announce that Kerstin Lindgren has joined the Fair World Project team as our new Campaign Coordinator! Kerstin is based in Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts.
Kerstin comes to us from the Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA). She was the Executive Director of the DFTA for the last four years. The DFTA is a collaboration of organizations representing farmers, farmworkers, food system workers, retailers, manufacturers, processors, and non-governmental organizations.
Kerstin says: “I’ve been a fan of Fair World Project since it started and excited to be part of the important work of building a strong community of businesses and activists who care about a just economy, advocating for positive changes in policies and practices, and contributing to the fair trade conversation through our publication and other media.”
There has been a lot of talk about food labels in the media lately, especially if you have been following Proposition 37 in California. Transparency in labeling is important and the labeling landscape can be confusing.
The FWP team recently took a shopping trip to see how fair trade chocolate bars are labeled. Chocolate is on our mind because last month Hershey announced that they will source 100% “certified” cocoa by 2020, without specifying what kind of certification. Later in the month was, of course, Halloween, a holiday where, by some estimates, 90 million pounds of chocolate, most of it not fair trade, is purchased.
As we push for companies like Hershey’s to clean up their supply chains, ensuring that children are not forced to work and farmers and workers are paid fairly, and ask consumers to make more of their purchases products that are fairly traded, we also see a role for making sure those fair trade labels mean something. So what we found on our recent shopping trip was somewhat alarming.
Although Congress has raised the minimum wage in recent years, the minimum wage for tipped workers has been frozen at $2.13 since 1991.
If it kept pace with its 1991 value, today it would stand at $4.35. It is true that employers must make up the difference between tips and the minimum wage, but not all employers do so. Also, workers rely on the base wages paid by an employer as a measure of steady income in an industry where tips can fluctuate widely depending on the day, week, season, and economic conditions such as the current recession, when people may tighten their belts and tip less generously than usual. As a result, those who work for tips, including those in the restaurant and other industries, have been devastated by the erosion of the value of their minimum wage.
Raising the minimum wage for the benefit of 29 million low-wage workers would only increase food costs at most by 10 cents a day for consumers. Would you be willing to pay an extra dime a day for your food so that close to 8 million food system workers and 21 million additional low-wage workers can receive a much deserved raise to help them meet their basic needs?
Fair World Project (FWP) is a campaign of the Organic Consumers Association, a 501c(3) non-profit organization. FWP promotes fair trade, insists on integrity in fair trade, and cultivates a holistic approach to global economics.