Tag Archives: Fair Trade Certification

285. The mainstreaming paradox

Fair Trade USA has dramatically expanded the reach and aggregate impact of Fair Trade by aligning certification requirements more closely with conventional market logic and conventional sourcing practices. In the process, it has reduced the average impact of Fair Trade at the individual level. This is the mainstreaming paradox, and a source of discontent among […]

284. Two, three, many Fair Trades

The manager of a Fair Trade coffee cooperative in Central America told me recently that Fair Trade USA’s decision to make estates and independent smallholder farmers eligible for Fair Trade Certification is creating another version of Fair Trade — one that has very little to do with his idea of what Fair Trade is all […]

280. CRS is piloting FT4All. Not endorsing it.

Last week we announced here that we are getting involved in a Fair Trade for All pilot project with independent smallholder farmers in Nariño, Colombia.  Since then the suggestion has been made, both online and off, that our involvement in the project constitutes an endorsement of the overarching vision behind FT4All.  Today we set the […]

279. Sizing up Nariño for the FT4All pilot

On Tuesday, I announced here our involvement in an FT4All innovation pilot with independent smallholder farmers in Nariño, Colombia.  Yesterday, I explained here how our involvement came to pass.  Today, I discuss why Nariño might be the best imaginable place in the world for this pilot.  And why it might be the worst.

275. The FT4All Pilots: How to measure success

In yesterday’s post, I suggested that measuring the success of FTUSA’s FT4All coffee innovation pilots could be a complicated affair.  The best imaginable scenario, in my mind, is an impact assessment process that is transparent, system-wide, longitudinal and conducted by an independent third party with no skin in the game.  Hitting all four of those […]

274. The FT4All pilots: What does success look like?

Fair Trade USA is rolling out Fair Trade for All pilots with coffee estates and independent smallholder farmers all around the world.  If these pilots succeed, we expect to see more and more of them.  But what does success look like, and how will we measure it? I have had several good discussions of this […]

272. The FT4All debate: It’s getting personal

Last September, Fair Trade USA issued two controversial announcements: one about its decision to withdraw from Fairtrade International, the global Fair Trade Certifier formerly known as FLO, and another launching its Fair Trade for All initiative, which rewrites the rules of Fair Trade and opens the U.S. Fair Trade market to coffee estates. In the […]