January 24,th 2023
Ryan Fletcher 202-641-0277
Corporate Accountability Lab Brings Leading Fair Trade Watchdog Fair World Project In-House
Merger will Strengthen Advocacy to Hold Corporations Accountable for Human Rights Violations and Labor Abuses and Advance a Truly Just Economy for All
PORTLAND, OR – The nonprofit organization, Corporate Accountability Lab has announced that beginning this year it will bring leading fair trade watchdog and advocacy organization Fair World Project in-house to further strengthen the work of both organizations to end corporate exploitation in supply chains, and false claims by certifications and brands.
“Fair World Project has brought credible information on corporate accountability to a broad audience throughout its history. I am a huge fan of the work Fair World Project does and am thrilled to bring this work under the Corporate Accountability Lab umbrella and to engage more with the community Fair World Project has brought together through their important work,” said Charity Ryerson, Executive Director of Corporate Accountability Lab.
Corporate Accountability Lab was founded in response to the crisis of widespread corporate abuse of human rights and the environment and disappearing legal tools to hold corporations accountable. In the midst of this ongoing crisis, public interest lawyers and the broader social justice community are too often overburdened with work using existing tools and lack the time, resources, and space to come up with creative strategies for broad impact.
“After over 10 years leading Fair World Project, I have decided to move on to other projects. I am honored that Corporate Accountability Lab has agreed to steward Fair World Project into the future. They are the ideal home for Fair World Project and our mission. This partnership is an extension of our previous collaborations together. Corporate Accountability Lab and Fair World Project have worked together to expose sham certification schemes and corporate greenwashing and its detrimental effects in global supply chains,” said Dana Geffner, co-founder and Executive Director of Fair World Project.
Fair World Project started in 2010 to promote and protect fair trade principles and accuracy in labeling with the belief that a truly just economy must work in the interest of all people, especially those who are historically the most marginalized.
“We are excited and honored to protect and advance Fair World Project’s mission. The organization has provided actionable analysis so consumers can align their purchases with their values while holding companies and certification schemes accountable to high bar principles. Fair World Project has uniquely demonstrated a vision of commitment to long-arc systemic change while simultaneously celebrating incremental campaign wins that help push the needle forward,” said Corporate Accountability Lab’s staff attorney Tatiana Devia.
Centering farmer and worker led solutions by acting as a watchdog to false corporate “solutions” has been core to Fair World Project’s work. Their campaigns seek to build collective power toward democratic systems that challenge existing power structures and create alternative growing and trade models.
“I am proud of Fair World Project’s legacy of changing the narrative about what is possible for a small organization challenging global power structures through the production of strategic and creative reports, a monthly magazine, and thoughtful audio and digital media projects,” said Ryan Zinn, Fair World Project’s former Political Director and co-founder.
Key Fair World Project Initiatives To-Date include:
- For A Better World – For 10 years Fair World Project produced the magazine For A Better World that reached 200,000 people semi-annually. In 2021, the magazine changed formats and was turned into the critically acclaimed podcast of the same name for the last few years which has reached thousands of people in over 80 countries and was in the top 10% of podcasts listenership in 2022.
For A Better World was the first podcast series focused on Nestle’s KitKat bar and the bitter truths about the brand’s supply chains. Their 2nd series focused on the Dairy industry after Chobani and Fair Trade USA released a new “fair trade dairy” label that claimed to promote worker wellbeing but farm workers reveal the hidden costs of unfair dairy and how the certifications do not focus on real solutions of the ever-growing crisis in that industry.
- Educational Tools – Fair World Project has produced tools to help align consumer values with their purchases and have educated grocery store buyers on fair trade, fair labor, and certification standards to help strengthen their buying practices.
- Reports – Fair World Project produced and released several reports on certification standards, including:
- Label Before Labor – Fair Trade USA’s Dairy Label Fails Workers
- International Guide to Fair Trade Labels – A reference tool to better understand the guarantees of fair trade labels, standards, monitoring measures and how they differ from sustainable development labels
- Justice in the Fields – A report on the Role of Farmworker Justice Certification and an Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Seven Labels
- Fairness to Farmers – A report assessing the fair trade movement and the role of certification
- Campaigns – Fair World Project led and supported multiple campaigns in support of corporate accountability and labor justice.
- Fair World Project recently challenged B Corp on their certification standards after certifying the Nestle subsidiary Nespresso and helped to organize over 60 B Corp certified brands to take a stand against the weak standards.
- Fair World Project launched a public campaign in 2018 against Fair Trade USA’s certification of Fyffe’s melon plantations they certified after decade-long history of human and labor rights violations forcing FTUSA to decertify within 2 weeks of the start of the campaign.
- Fair World Project delivered a letter to Driscoll’s, signed by nearly 10,000 consumers, expressing concern for farmworkers at Sakuma Brothers farm in Washington. Driscoll’s responded and the farmworkers of Familias Unidas por la Justicia signed a union contract securing their rights to organize and fight for their rights.
- Fair World Project engaged in the Raise the Bar campaign to tell Hershey that buying cocoa from sources that exploit child workers is not acceptable. FWP’s letter writing campaign asking Whole Foods Market to stop carrying Hershey’s brand products pushing the retailer to pull all Hershey’s products and forced Hershey’s to announce they would certify all cocoa in coming years.
The Fair World Project mission is to protect the use of the term ‘fair trade’ in the marketplace, expand markets for authentic fair trade, educate consumers about key issues in trade and agriculture, advocate for policies leading to a just economy, and facilitate collaborative relationships to create true system change. For further information, Please visit: http://www.fairworldproject.org.
Corporate Accountability Lab was founded in 2017 to unleash the creative potential of the law to protect people and the planet from corporate abuse. With a diverse team of practitioners and advocates with experiences in human rights, as well as labor rights and the environment, CAL works towards a shared goal of making companies accountable when they harm people and the environment. For further information, please visit: https://www.corporateaccountabilitylab.org