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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 […]

Celebrate World Fair Trade Day with Dedicated Fair Trade Brands

A Fair World Project Initiative   An initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (www.wfto.com), World Fair Trade Day (WFTD) is an annual global celebration occurring each May. Celebrations bring consumers and businesses, nonprofit organizations, churches, student groups, and advocates together to host thousands of events worldwide. Here in the U.S., the Fair Trade Resource […]

Fair Trade Sprouting Hope in Palestine

By Vivien SansourAug 23, 2010   There is nothing better than a cup of black tea brewed with Palestinian wild sage for an afternoon break! Sipping tea with Abu Saleh under the shade of his olive tree, one can understand in a deep way what it means to be a fair trade farmer and the […]

To Tell the Truth: Who Owns Fair Trade

Photo Credit: Scott Robertson

By Phyllis Robinson, Education and Campaign Manager, Equal ExchangeMarch 1, 2011   When TransFair USA announced last fall that it was changing its name to Fair Trade USA, an immediate and on-going tsunami of outrage and indignation burst through the Fair Trade community. Alternative Trade Organizations, 100% Fair Trade roasters, student, religious, and consumer activists, […]

Fair Trade Sprouting Hope in Palestine

By Vivien SansourAug 23, 2010   There is nothing better than a cup of black tea brewed with Palestinian wild sage for an afternoon break! Sipping tea with Abu Saleh under the shade of his olive tree, one can understand in a deep way what it means to be a fair trade farmer and the […]