BIG News in the U.S. Fair Trade World!
Life in the U.S. Fair Trade movement has been in flux since Fair Trade U.S.A. (formerly TransFair) decided to withdraw from Fairtrade International, the global umbrella certifying organization (see our blog).
Following several months of conversations with fair trade businesses, consumers, producers, and other key stakeholders, Fairtrade International has decided to create a legal presence in the U.S. by early April to facilitate use of the international FAIRTRADE Mark in the market here. They will establishing a consultative panel including a variety of fair trade stakeholders, to ensure an appropriate structure, good governance, accountability, and a strong voice for Fair Trade in the U.S. Their vision is to create a “powerful, collaborative diverse coalition that is united in its belief in producer development and empowerment.”
During 2012-13, while this model is being established, FLO member organization Fairtrade Canada will continue to assist companies who would like to remain part of the global Fairtrade system.
Fairtrade International recognizes “that there are many different approaches to Fair Trade. The global Fairtrade system will compete respectfully with FTUSA, to ensure that our cumulative efforts will continue to strengthen producers’ position in international trade and improve livelihoods.”