With Fair Trade experiencing monumental change in the past few months, some committed stakeholders in North America started a dialogue initiative in December 2011 to clarify the direction for the Fair Trade movement in North America with the goal of upholding its benefits for marginalized producers around the world. The initiative, called the North America Fair Trade Stakeholder Council, will begin with around 40-50 nonprofits, advocacy organizations, committed companies, producer/farmer/worker groups, academics and others, who will hold conference calls and email discussions over several months before attending an in-person summit April 30 – May 2, 2012. Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN), Fair World Project (FWP), and Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA) comprise the Organizing Committee leading the initiative. At present, the Council seeks to advance these 4 goals:
Define fair trade and the movement, what they are and what they are not
Organize the North American fair trade movement under a coordinated infrastructure with a common vision
Reach agreement on a plan for cooperation and accountability within the movement
Develop a clear external message for the movement
As the Council gets more organized and more momentum, it intends to periodically share its major ideas & highlights with the public, and to occasionally invite public comment. In balancing efficiency with inclusiveness and transparency, the Council intends to maintain open, clear and transparent communication channels with stakeholders in other organizations, as well as other producer and consumer regions, to collaborate as much as possible.
Organizations (to date) participating in the Council:
Alter Eco Bon Appétit Management Company Ben & Jerry’s Canaan Fair Trade Canadian Fair Trade Network CATA – the Farmworker Support Committee Catholic Relief Services Community to Community Development Cooperative Coffees Dean’s Beans Dean’s Beans Discoverty Organics Divine Chocolate Domestic Fair Trade Association Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps Equal Exchange Fair Trade Burlington Fair Trade Federation Fair Trade Los Angeles Fair Trade San Diego Fair Trade Resource Network Fair World Project Farmer Direct Co-operative Food Chain Workers Alliance FUNDEPPO Global Exchange Green America Handmade Expression Just Coffee JUSTA Fair Trade Just Works Kusikuy Clothing Company Made by Hand International Co-op Maggie’s Organics Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Olympia Co-op Once Again Nut Butter Organic Valley Peace Coffee Presbyterian Church USA Rural Advancement Foundation International Theo Chocolate United Students for Fair Trade (USFT)
Vermont Coffee Company
World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) Zhena’s Tea
Christopher Bacon Daniel Jaffee
The Council is not accepting new members for the rest of this early phase through May 2, but will probably welcome new participants if the initiative continues beyond May 2.
How other stakeholders can participate:
Look for news on this page (or FTRN or DFTA pages) during January-April 2012.
Sign-up for updates on Council progress, and invitations for public input on issues by signing up for enewsletters from FWP, DFTA or FTRN.
See if the Council gains enough momentum to expand formal participation after May’s summit of the tentative members.
Contact FWP at firstname.lastname@example.org or FTRN at email@example.com or DFTA at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions.