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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 […]

The Challenges of Certification for Fair Trade Crafts

By Tony Hall, Fair Trade Consultant   Introduction There is increasing consumer demand for products in mainstream stores and supermarkets that are produced without exploiting workers, children and the environment. This is consistent with the principles of fair trade (FT), and is essentially a requirement to know about the supply chain from field or workshop […]

Chocolate: the Bitter and the Sweet

International Labor Rights Fund

By Kai HuschkeMarch 1, 2011   Cocoa beans – the central character of the long story of chocolate – are actually not beans at all but seeds of the cocoa fruit. Cocoa trees grow in equatorial regions of the Caribbean, West Africa, Southeast Asia and Central and South America.  They typically produce two harvests per […]

Certifying for Ethics:

Leading Fair Trade Certifiers Break Down their Standards Introduced and Interviewed by Sue Kastensen    When we purchase certified products, we expect them to meet a standard we both desire and understand. We want the label to be meaningful.   The process of certifying a product first involves multi-stakeholder input to set standards that clearly […]

Supermarkets, Tomatoes and Farmworker Justice

Photo Credit: Scott Robertson

By Sean SellersMarch 1, 2011   Last November, the previously unthinkable happened – farmworkers and representatives of the $620 million Florida tomato industry announced an end to their decade-long labor conflict with a symbolic handshake and signed accord. The landmark agreement between the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), an internationally recognized workers’ organization based in […]