Issue 20, Fall 2020: Seeds of Change
The most powerful change in this world is driven by the people, for the people; the sparks often fueled by necessity.
In our 20th and final issue, we’re sharing stories of hope from people who are harnessing the power of grassroots action in their own communities. The Seeds of Change issue shares perspectives from across the Americas that hold a common thread: land and seed sovereignty are critical to preserving cultural identity and economic independence. Featuring the voices of farmers, activists, and community organizers, their stories describe community-led efforts that are building just, local food systems, protecting sacred lands, and celebrating traditional practices.
Issue 19, Fall 2019/Winter 2020: Fair Trade: A Vision for a New Economy
The ways goods are traded impacts all of our lives, from the products that are available on grocery store shelves, to the environmental and social impacts on the communities that produce them.
In this issue, we are getting back to our roots with a focus on fair trade, and new educational tools that provide readers with more ways to get involved. A feature article on NAFTA shows the human-costs behind the trade deal that has transformed Mexico’s food system–and our own. This issue also highlights inspiring stories that demonstrate the power of farmer and worker-led movements that are confronting climate change and corporatization head-on.
Issue 18, Spring/Summer 2019: Real Meals
Food is at the center of our daily lives and what we grow, who grows it, and how it is grown has a tremendous impact on the world around us.
In this issue, we focus on food and those who are transforming our corporate-controlled food system into one that nourishes the health of farmers, workers, eaters, and the planet.
We hear from members of the Coalition for Real Meals as they work to reclaim our food system from Big Food as well as inspiring stories of the people all around the globe who are working every day to make that vision for “real food” a reality.
Issue 17, Fall 2018/Winter 2019: WOMEN IN FARMING AND FOOD
Women make up nearly half of the people who grow and process food around the globe. Yet too often, their voices and their unique struggles go unheard.
In this issue, we focus on the ways women are coming together and organizing to transform their lives, their communities, and the farming and food systems that impact us all.
We hear from Dolores Huerta, civil rights icon and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America as well as inspiring perspectives from La Via Campesina, the Coalition for Immokalee Workers, and others.
Issue 16, Spring/Summer 2018: THE ROAD TO FOOD SOVEREIGNTY
This issue focuses on the road to food sovereignty and the powerful stories of transformation taking place in communities around the globe.
What would it look like if we put the needs of those who produce, distribute, and consume food at the heart of our food systems and policies? That is the question at the heart of the global movement for food sovereignty.
This issue is full of inspiring stories of small-scale farmers and their communities working to bring about that sort of transformation in their own communities from Maryland to Peru.
Issue 15, Fall 2017/Winter 2018: THE REGENERATION ISSUE
Welcome to the 15th Issue of For A Better World. This issue focuses on regenerative agriculture and fair trade, movements seeking to transform our food and fashion industries from their current destructive, exploitative paths.We hear thoughts from movement leaders like Rebecca Burgess of Fibershed and David Bronner of Dr. Bronner as well as voices from the front lines and the fields. All share inspiration and explore possibilities for another kind of future, one that regenerates our planet instead of depletes it, one that sustains people and animals instead of exploits them.
Issue 14, Spring/Summer 2017: FAIR TRADE FOR FARMERS AND SOIL
Welcome to the 14th Issue of For A Better World. This issue focuses on fairness in our food system with inspiring stories from the front lines. Look for a feature on how small-scale farmers and fair trade brands are partnering to grow regenerative solutions to climate change. We also share perspectives from Sakuma Brothers Farms where an indigenous-led independent union showed what can be accomplished through organizing, dialogue, and solidarity.There’s also the mix of policy and practical that readers have come to expect: Stories on some of the biggest issues facing our food system these days from food waste to crop prices, as well as concrete steps to make big institutional purchases count for small-scale farmers—and more!
Issue 13, Fall 2016
Welcome to the 13th Issue of For A Better World. This issue focuses on the movement to Raise the Wage in the U.S., and, more broadly, the role of dignified work in a just economy. Businesses like Dr. Bronner’s, who are already paying a fair wage weigh in, and we look to states where the minimum wage has already gone up to see what the future holds for farmers and farm workers.
We hear stories from two segments of our labor force that face challenges under current policy: guest workers and those entering the workforce after incarceration. An interview with a leader of a Guatemalan weaving cooperative shares stories of organizing her community, saving seeds, and fighting back against Monsanto. Finally, we pay tribute to Berta Cáceres, a slain Indigenous rights leader and environmental activist—it’s another issue packed with information and education.
Issue 12, Spring 2016: THE TRUE COST
Welcome to the 12th Issue of For A Better World. In this issue we focus on the apparel industry, both the huge human and environmental costs of its abuses, and the potential it has to transform livelihoods and marginalized communities. We also return to the climate crisis and view several possible approaches to address its impact on our world: small-scale farmer solutions that are working and some market-based solutions that aren’t. Finally, we look at a few communities striving for a more just economy. Read how a Latin American fair trade universities initiative is building powerful programs to create true transformation, and how a community is tackling issues of racial and economic equity in their local food cooperative.
Issue 11, Fall 2015: CONNECTING THE LINKS TO BUILD JUST SUPPLY CHAINS
Welcome to the 11th Issue of For A Better World.In this issue we lay out the limitations of current certification systems and discuss how some of these systems are trying to strengthen their standards while others are continuing to weaken them. Various experts in their fields talk about whether or not large-scale hired labor workplaces should be part of the fair trade model and we also learn about the power of farmers organizing, as told by one sugar farmer about a revolution that allowed his community to take back control of their crops and livelihoods. Creating a just economy also means raising the minimum wage in the U.S., in this issue we set the national stage for doing so, while also looking at it from a local viewpoint.
Issue 10, Spring 2015
Welcome to the 10th Issue of For A Better World. In this issue, we cover topics that are affecting everyone around the globe. We focus our cover story on food, farming and climate change – and how small scale farmers hold the power to mitigate climate change while feeding the world. We introduce brands working with small-scale farmers in our cover story, on our back cover, and in our regular in-depth brand feature article. Additional articles cover farmers fighting for justice in Washington state, the skyrocketing rates of herbicide and insecticide use on GMO crops and the role of pro-GMO media in suppressing this information, Dr. Vandana Shiva’s call for seed freedom and food democracy, and a new international fair trade labeling guide to help clarify the ecosocial certification landscape. Two additional articles focus on policy, one examining the links between free trade agreements and migration from the Global South, and another examining how “ag-gag” laws prevent whistleblowers from exposing abuses and crimes on factory farms.
Issue 9, Fall 2014: BUILDING A JUST ECONOMY FROM THE GROUND UP
Welcome to the 9th Issue of For A Better World Issue 9 Fall 2014. Building a just economy from the ground up. In today’s shifting landscape, technology is forging ahead even while it creates problems for farmers, workers and citizens worldwide. In this issue of For A Better World, we learn from Friends of the Earth’s Dana Perls about synthetic biology (synbio) vanilla and its potential to displace thousands of vanilla farmers in Mexico. Paul Towers from Pesticide Action Network examines the dwindling populations of butterflies and bees due to the industrial agricultural’s dependency on genetically engineered seed and chemical inputs. Ariel Vegosen shares with us her journey to India where she talks with Vandana Shiva about Monsanto and the harsh realities that Indian GMO farmers face.
Issue 8, Spring 2014: WORLD FAIR TRADE DAY – SUPPORTING SMALL SCALE PRODUCERS
Welcome to the 8th Issue of For A Better World Issue 8 Spring 2014. World Fair Trade Day is May 10, this current issue celebrates this global event by engaging consumers to participate in trade justice both on the policy level and through supporting mission driven brands that are committed to supporting small-scale producers. We also are challenged to think beyond the boundaries of traditional fair trade. For example, Wenonah Hauter, author of the book Foodopoly, highlights the negative impact of industrial agricultural policy on our food system, which is now characterized more by monopoly than democracy. In other articles, Paul Shapiro and Ronnie Cummins explore what it means to be fair to farm animals and why we should label factory farm products as such. At the same time, we remain true to our roots, and Niger Willerton discusses the pressing issues that fair trade sugar farmers are facing today.
Issue 7, Fall 2013: GMO OMG!
Welcome to the 7th issue of For A Better World. With GMO labeling taking center stage on the Washington State ballot this fall we made the focus of this issue on GMOs and social justice, covering, the incredible power Monsanto has over our food supply and political system, how GMOs affect all of us as consumers and producers, and the fight for transparency in food labeling with our feature article by Jeremy Siefert, Director / Producer / Editor of the new film GMO OMG. Women farmers in Nicaragua talk about how they are empowering themselves to stand up against multinationals like Monsanto. Also, Equal Exchange talks about transforming the Tea Industry from a plantation model to a small-farmer owned model. And as always included is our trade policy reform corner which focuses on Fair Trade & Immigration and Land Grabs.
Issue 6, Spring 2013: WHY INDUSTRIAL HEMP?
Welcome to the 6th issue of For A Better World. In this issue of For A Better World we have included articles on domestic agricultural issues such as the lack of fairness in the farm bill and the movement to grow hemp in the US. These issues may seem a deviation from traditional international fair trade, but to create authentic system change we must connect all of these social justice issues.
Issue 5, Fall 2012: FAIR WORLD PROJECT’S JUST ECONOMY
Welcome to the 5th issue of For A Better World. This issue’s cover featuring FWP’s Just Economy map shows the important groups striving to create a just economy: small scale artisan and farmer groups in the developing world seeking fairness in trade; workers in the global apparel industry organizing for better wages and working conditions; and farmers and agricultural workers in the North and South seeking economic fairness at home.
Issue 4, Spring 2012: THE LONG JOURNEY THAT INFORMS THE CURRENT REALITY
Welcome to the fourth issue of For A Better World. Fair trade is at a critical crossroads and this edition’s cover reflects the challenges and opportunities in the fair trade movement and marketplace. Small farmers, large corporations, certifiers, cooperatives, Alternative Trading Organizations (ATOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), student groups and other fair trade stakeholders are trying and vying to define and redefine fair trade.
Issue 3, Fall 2011: INEZ: A FAMILY OF HOPE IN RAWANDA
In this edition contributing authors address the true cost of bananas, fair trade quinoa production, the challenges of certifying fair trade crafts, organic fair trade alcohol production in Ecuador, unpacking major fair trade certifiers, and the domestic fair trade experience of Swanton Berry Farm. To a day when all trade is fair.
Issue 2, Spring 2011
In this edition contributing authors write about; fair versus conventional “free” trade; different fair trade craft production models to support artisans; vertically certifying fair trade apparel production from farm to factory in Central and North America; community empowerment in Africa through fair trade Shea Butter production; the tragedy of the chocolate industry versus righteous chocolatiers; and who and what fair trade is for and about. To a day when all trade is fair.
Issue 1, Fall 2010
What do consumers expect when we pick up a bottle of iced tea, drink a cup of coffee, eat a chocolate bar, use a bar of soap or buy a handicraft that claims to be “fair trade?” What is our money really doing? With new fair trade certifiers joining the movement, seasoned certifiers enabling unjustified fair trade claims and “fairwashing” practices becoming common, we intend to discuss and dissect.
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