Innovate the Model
MORE INCLUSIVE FOR MORE IMPACT
Today Fair Trade standards simultaneously and successfully support both cooperatives members as well as small farmers unable to access the support of a cooperative in the categories of tea, flowers and bananas, but not in coffee, sugar or cocoa. As a model that seeks to alleviate poverty and empower farming communities, this inconsistency and systematic exclusion within the Fair Trade system is no longer acceptable.
To create a more just and consistent Fair Trade model, Fair Trade USA will adapt existing international Fair Trade standards from tea, bananas and flowers, and apply them first to coffee and then to additional categories over time.
We must innovate responsibly, including more people without negatively impacting our current partners in the Fair Trade system. In this respect, Fair Trade USA is conducting feasibility studies in a limited number of coffee-producing regions to determine how best to pilot standards that will include additional producer groups.
Many companies are eager to secure a consistent source of high-quality supply that is good for the earth, good for farmers and good for their businesses. However, in coffee, Fair Trade is available only to cooperative organizations, which represent just 8% of the world’s coffee growing community. By excluding millions of unorganized coffee farmers and farm workers, our current model also limits impact opportunities for producers, businesses and consumers.
We will continue to set common, rigorous standards for all industry partners as we work to provide consumers with a broad selection of Fair Trade products that allow them to make their small everyday purchases matter.