Resources to Learn More
To learn more about Judaism and Fair Trade, click here.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the fair trade movement, visit these websites:
“Fair for Life” is a brand neutral third party certification program run by the Institute for Marketecology (IMO) for fair trade in agricultural, manufacturing and trading operations. The aim of the Fair for Life Social & FairTrade Programme is to ensure fair and positive relations between producers and their cooperatives or contracting companies, between workers and their employer, between seller and buyers on the world market while at the same time ensuring performance of standards.
Fair Trade Federation (FTF)
The Fair Trade Federation is an association of fair trade wholesalers, retailers, and producers whose members are fully committed to providing fair wages and good employment opportunities to economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers worldwide. FTF members link low-income producers with consumer markets and educate consumers about the importance of purchasing fairly traded products which support living wages and safe and healthy conditions for workers in the developing world. FTF provides resources and networking opportunities for its members and acts as a clearinghouse for information on fair trade. FTF membership is not a certification, but members are screened for their full commitment to fair trade.
The Fairtrade Foundation
The Fairtrade Foundation is the independent non-profit organization that licenses use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. Their Jewish Guide to Fairtrade is an educational resource packed with Jewish sources on poverty and sustainability, activity ideas that your school, synagogue or workplace can get involved in, and a list of Kosher Fairtrade products.
Fair Trade Resource Network
The Fair Trade Resource Network seeks to raise consumer awareness about improving people’s lives through fair trade alternatives by gathering and compiling research and data about fair Trade; providing information to the public, the media and advocates; helping fair trade organizations and individuals become involved, and creating a space for dialogue and exchange within the fair trade movement.
Fair Trade USA A nonprofit organization, is currently the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Fair Trade USA was a member of the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) intil January 2012, when they resigned from the international organization to launch their “Fair Trade for All” program, expanding certification to products made on plantations.
Fair Trade Towns USA
Fair Trade Towns USA is a national initiative of cities and towns that seek recognition for their ongoing commitment to promoting and expanding the availability of fair Ttade in their communities. Businesses, community- and faith-based organizations, schools, local governments, and individuals all take part in this effort.
Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982. Their mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. On their website, you can also purchase printed copies of “Green America’s Guide to Fair Trade” or you can download the PDF version.
United Students for Fair Trade (USFT)
Connects youth and students working to promote Fair Trade through a national listserve, online forum, and map of schools where USFTers are working. USFT’s organizing guide is perfect for students interested in starting or working with a campus group, download it here.
World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)
The World Fair Trade Organization is the global network of Fair Trade Organizations. WFTO’s mission is to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged producers by linking and promoting Fair Trade Organizations, and speaking out for greater justice in world trade. Over 350 Fair Trade Organizations in 70 countries form the basis of their network and membership is growing steadily. Approximately 65% of members are based in the Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America, with the rest coming from North America & the Pacific Rim and Europe. Their work is centered around three areas: Market Development, Fair Trade Monitoring (building trust), and Advocacy.
Judaism and Fair Trade
The American Jewish World Service has partnered with Equal Exchange to create the Better Beans Program that encourages Jewish congregations, community organizations, and individuals to buy top-quality kosher coffee beans and chocolate while supporting the efforts of small growers and co-operatives in the developing world. Equal Exchange contributes 15 cents to AJWS’s “Fighting Hunger from the Ground Up” for every pound of Better Beans chocolate or coffee purchased.
The Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative Movement) passed a resolution on Fair Trade at is annual meeting in early 2012, encouraging its member synagogues and other affiliates to purchase Fair Trade products when available. Here is a link to the text of the resolution.
The Religious Action Center (RAC) of the Reform Movement passed a resolution in 2002 promoting the purchase of fair trade coffee by its congregations. The website provides background information.
GreenAction is an Israeli non-profit organization working toward socio-ecological justice and political issues concerning the peace process. One of the main ways they are achieving this goal is through their work with the Fair Trade movement. They:
- import fair trade products such as coffee from far away lands like Colombia into the Israeli market
- focus on the relationship between Israel and Palestinian, promoting “community trade between Palestinian, Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews” through their SAHA project. “Saha” has a double meaning in the Holy Land. In Hebrew, it is an acronym for ‘fair trade’ and in Arabic it is a blessing for health said before a meal.
Fair Trade and Judaism (PDF) is an excellent in-depth resource matching Fair Trade principles with Jewish values and text sources.
“A Jewish Perspective on Fair Trade” is an excellent supplement to Equal Exchange’s School Curriculum
A Jewish Guide to Fair Trade (PDF) is an excellent guide developed by the Jewish community in the U.K. It provides case studies of fair trade farmers and their communities, text sources, activity ideas and more.
BEAN OF AFFLICTION: Chocolate, Child Labor and Fair Trade (PDF) is an excellent Passover seder supplement focusing on the role of child slavery in the cocoa fields.
D’var Torah on Judaism and fair trade (PDF) by Joelle Novey is an inspiring read and the first drash ever written about fair trade and Judaism.
A Fair Trade Teshuva (PDF) by Rabbi Deborah Silver answers the question “Does Jewish law require us to buy produce which is certified as being fairly traded, when it is available?”
Rabbinical Assembly’s 2012 Resolution in Support of Fair Trade Practices
Fair Trade Your Jewish Holidays, developed by FTJ, provides a variety of ways that you can integrate fair trade into your holy day observances.