Newsletter 127: A $10 Million Dollar Blow to Fair Trade
-December 2nd 2014 –
A $10 Million Dollar Blow to Fair Trade: How a Grant to Fair Trade USA May Take Down a Movement
News came out last week that Bob Stiller, founder of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (now Keurig Green Mountain) and still recognized as Chairman Emeritus, made a $10 million dollar grant to Fair Trade USA, a fair trade labeling organization on whose board Stiller sits. This is a challenge grant requiring $10 million additional dollars to be raised, bringing the total investment in Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) to $20 million.
In theory, this news should have the fair trade movement jumping up and down. Instead, many of us are wondering if this may be the final blow to the meaningful fair trade that we have advocated for so long.
Pictured is Julia on her farm in Peru as she explains how the model of certification promoted by Fair Trade USA threatens small-scale farmers such as herself.
Keeping the Pressure On
As we all know, change takes time. As the year comes to an end, it’s a good time to reflect on where some of our campaigns stand and where we need to keep pressure on or even ramp it up.
Climate Crisis – Thanks in part to the Climate March in September, climate change has been at the forefront of the news and people are ready to take action. Obama announced a deal with China to reduce emissions, the front page of the New York Times a few weeks ago exposed the increased danger of extreme domestic oil distraction, and optimism is high for the UN Climate talks in Lima that start this week. But despite rhetoric about “Climate Smart” agriculture, small-scale farmers are still largely left out of the news and the negotiations.
Fair Trade Policy – Congress has heard from so many people that we want fair trade not free trade that it looks like once again the Fast Track legislation that would allow dangerous agreements like the TPP to pass is stalled again.
But it’s too soon to let up pressure.
Rana Plaza – It has been a year and a half since the Rana Plaza disaster and victims have still not been fully compensated.
Looking for fair trade gifts for friends, family, or co-workers? The Fair Trade Federation annual gift guide features over 100 products from committed fair trade brands that work with small-scale producers.
Want to double world food production? Return land to small-scale farmers.
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Fair World Project (FWP) is a campaign of the Organic Consumers Association, a 501c(3) non-profit organization. FWP promotes fair trade, insists on integrity in fair trade, and cultivates a holistic approach to global economics.