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Small Producers Organizations at the Forefront of Fair Trade

By Jeronimo Pruijn     The Current Situation for Organized Small ProducersMost small producers live in communities with low levels of development, without adequate public services, and without sources of income to live a dignified life.  The future prospects for Small Producers’ Organizations (SPOs) in the marketplace, and even in so-called “fair” or “sustainable” markets, […]

Manuel Guzman on Farmworkers and Fair Trade

By Manuel Guzman Interviewed and translated by Richard Mandelbaum, CATAAug 23, 2010   José Manuel Guzmán is a Lead Organizer with el Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (CATA). Mr. Guzmán is a former agricultural worker from Moroleon, Guanajuato, Mexico, who worked as a mushroom harvester in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania beginning in 1978 and […]

Quinoa: Alter Eco s Story

By Mathieu Senard and Edouard Rollet   More than ten years ago, a group of friends banded together with a shared passion for economic and social justice in developing areas of the world, who were also passionate about food. Out of this shared interest, Alter Eco took shape. How could we translate a passion for […]

FAIR TRADE The Long Journey That Informs the Current Reality

By Jonathan Rosenthal, Just Works Consulting Twenty-five years ago, Rink Dickinson, Michael Rozyne and I founded Equal Exchange, an idealistic company that aimed to revitalize the food experience for US eaters. We envisioned a company that would help birth a movement and enable people to know where their food came from, who grew it and […]

Our Co-op s Journey to Domestic Fair Trade Certification

By Jason Freeman, General Manager, Farmer Direct Co-operative Ltd. http://www.farmerdirect.coopAug 23, 2010   About seven years ago, our co-op was confronted with the reality that organic grains were becoming commodified. Cheap organic imports were undercutting domestic relationships built over many years. Rumors abounded of organic fraud relating to these imports, but investigation and enforcement during […]

Voices from the Field:

Breaking New Ground with Organic Fair Trade Alcohol in Ecuador Ryan Zinn, Fair World Project Campaign Director, interviewed CADO President Cecilia Arcos and Internal Control System team member, Luis “Fredy” Avalos.   Deep in the foothills of the Ecuadorian Andes, small-scale family farmers are growing sugar cane on steep hills.  CADO, or the Sweet Organic […]

Challenges of Certification for Fair Trade Crafts: Part 2

Introduced and Interviewed by Dana Geffner   In our last issue, For A Better World featured an article entitled Challenges of Certification for Fair Trade Crafts – Part 1, written by Tony Hall.  Today we continue our exploration of why the different craft stakeholders—including producers and artisan groups, wholesalers in the US, and small and […]

African Self-Empowerment Through Fair Trade Shea Butter

By Olowo-n’djo Tchala, Founder, Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care http://www.alaffia.com March 1, 2011   For the past 500 years trade with the continent of Africa has been unbalanced and in conjunction with rampant corruption and lack of democratic control, has led to the paralysis of economies across Africa.  As a result  Africa, with some of the richest […]

The True Cost of Bananas

by Phyllis Robinson   Usually, I buy Equal Exchange organic, Fair Trade bananas. I work there. I looked for a bunch the other day at my neighborhood coop, but they were out of stock. A month earlier, I might have reached for Dole’s organic bananas. But I’d just returned from northern Peru, where I visited […]

Maggie s Organics The Fabric of Humanity

By Bena Burda, Founder, Maggie’s Organics http://www.maggiesorganics.com March 1, 2011   Maggie’s Organics has been making high-quality durable and affordable socks and apparel since 1992.  We began quite by accident, when we learned the truth behind conventional cotton working with an organic corn farmer in Texas. Before founding Maggie’s, I was working with the farmer to […]