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Swanton Berry Farm Promotes Labor Rights and Fair Trade

By Sandy BrownMarch 1, 2011   After years of pioneering organic production methods for strawberries, Swanton Berry Farm founder Jim Cochran turned his attention to the farm labor question, becoming the first organic grower in the country to sign a contract with the United Farm Workers union in 1998. In doing so, Cochran led the […]

Visualizing Fair Trade Coffee

By Daniel Jaffee and Phil Howard   The fair trade certification world has entered a period of major change.  The recent departure of Fair Trade USA from the international certification system led by Fair Trade International (formerly FLO), and its decision to develop separate U.S. standards that permit certification of plantation-produced coffee, cocoa, and other […]

Reviving Social Justice in Sustainable and Organic Agriculture

By Elizabeth Henderson Northeast Organic Farming Association Representative on the Agricultural Justice Project Steering CommitteeAug 23, 2010   If you can remember back to the early days of organic agriculture in the 1970s, you may recall its history as a movement with a holistic approach to land and livelihood. The farmers who were attracted to […]

INEZA: A Family of Hope

By Susan Moinester   Turn off one of the bustling streets in Kigali, Rwanda and onto a rut-filled dirt alleyway, follow the buzz of sewing machines augmented by the sounds of laughter, singing and an occasional disagreement, and you will reach the entrance to the INEZA Sewing Cooperative. There, tucked away behind a metal gate, […]

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 […]