The Brawl Over Fair Trade Coffee

As many of you already know, Fair Trade USA withdrew its membership from The international Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO) last fall, creating one of the biggest controversies in the fair trade movement historically.  Since then:

  • FLO has been meeting with a broad range of fair trade constituents to set up a new certifying body for products distributed through the U.S., and Fair Trade Canada has been assuming that responsibility in the interim
  • Fair Trade USA launched its own program, “Fair for All’, which expands to include certification of coffee grown on plantations and estates (vs. cooperatives)
  • Small farm producers have garnered forces to establish their own label
  • Some Fair Trade businsses have switched certification systems

The controversy continues to heat up! Here’s a comprehensive review that was recently published in “The Nation.”