Category: Farmworkers

240. FTUSA’s Independent Smallholders Standard: The empowerment agenda

Opponents of FTUSA’s Fair Trade for All initiative have focused in their public communications on the participation of coffee estates in the U.S. Fair Trade market, and characterized their resistance as a stand for smallholders.  They have mostly ignored the fact that FT4All also opens the door to independent smallholder farmers.  On the rare occasions […]

237. The future of smallholder Fair Trade

Yesterday I participated in an online forum on the future of smallholder Fair Trade hosted by the Fair Trade Resource Nework.  My presentation, in synthesis, went something like this: Fair Trade and Fair Trade Certification have catalyzed smallholder farmer organization and empowerment over the past decade through their support for farmer-led cooperatives.  But there are […]

236. 2012: The year of the impact-at-origin baseline?

I had a long conversation last week with a specialty coffee luminary that ended in a surprising statement about how little the industry really understands about its impact at origin after all these years. We talked about the state of sustainability in the coffee industry in general, and the current controversy in the Fair Trade […]

235. Online discussion: The future of Fair Trade

The good folks at the Fair Trade Resource Network have invited me to participate in an online discussion on the future of Fair Trade, along with Rodney North from Equal Exchange.  The webinar is scheduled to start at 1 pm Eastern and you can register here. Rodney and Equal Exchange have been among the leading […]

233. 10 million missing farmers

Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize winning development economist, wrote an influential essay more than 20 years ago suggesting that “More than 100 million women are missing” due to systematic neglect and mortality of girls in patriarchal societies. With apologies to the great Dr. Sen for the title of this post, I am writing to gently […]

232. And on the seventh day…

…there was silence.  The U.S. Fair Trade movement as we knew it ended on New Year’s Day, when FTUSA’s split from FLO took effect and its new certification went live.  But a week after the dawn of the FT4All era, there have been no official statements of any kind from Fair Trade USA, or new […]

231. Top posts of 2011

The final data for the CRS Coffeelands Blog for 2011 are in.  Google Analyticator tells me that the Fair Trade USA split from Fairtrade International was the year’s top storyline — related posts took the top five spots. Here are the 10 posts that were most frequently visited in 2011: 1.  Paul Rice makes the […]

223. Clarification on NYT reference to CRS

Last week, The New York Times ran a story on the rupture between Fair Trade USA and Fairtrade International and its implications for the Fair Trade movement.  In my post on the story, I noted that the reporter made a confusing reference to our role in the coffee certification process: “For consumers who pay attention […]

221. The New York Times frames the FT4All debate

When FTUSA decided a few months ago to fundamentally rewrite the rules of Fair Trade for the U.S. market, the news hit the Fair Trade fold with all the force of an earthquake.  The aftershocks have been making themselves felt for weeks: position statements by smallholder farmer networks, governance shake-ups at competing certifiers, ranging debates […]

217. The FT4All debates: A summary

On Halloween, I published a post summarizing everything written here on the Fair Trade for All debate and promised to leave this issue alone for a while.  With new information continuing to emerge in this evolving process, it has proven harder than I thought to keep my word.  Yesterday I published three more new posts […]