Tag Archives: Fair Trade for All

254. CRS comment on FTUSA’s Independent Smallholder Standard

Today we sent Fair Trade USA some comments on its proposed Independent Smallholder Standard.  The comments include contributions from CRS experts in the areas of Fair Trade, coffee, agriculture, smallholder trade, environmental sustainability and labor rights.  They were drafted in a spirit of constructive criticism, and in the hope of improving the Standard and its […]

244. FTUSA releases Independent Smallholders Standard

Fair Trade USA has released a draft of its Independent Smallholders Standard (ISS) along with a four-page primer, officially opening the period of public review and comment on the way it proposes to bring smallholder farmers not currently organized into cooperatives into the U.S. Fair Trade market for the first time.   I will be conferring […]

243. FTUSA’s Independent Smallholders Standard: Periodic table of the acronyms

The Independent Smallholders Standard (ISS) released by Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) is shot through with acronyms — 35 by my count.  This periodic table of the acronyms is an essential companion to the Standard.   – – – – – Read other posts related to the FTUSA Independent Smallholders Standard.  

242. FTUSA’s Independent Smallholders Standard: The criteria

The Fair Trade USA Independent Smallholders Standard includes 135 requirements.  Here is a visual representation that suggests they are focused primarily on empowerment, social responsibility and environmental stewardship. (If you haven’t already done so, I would suggest downloading the Periodic Table of the Acronyms — an essential resource that will help you make sense of […]

241. FTUSA’s Independent Smallholders Standard: Now and later

In its draft Independent Smallholders Standard, Fair Trade USA adopts a familiar approach, identifying minimum criteria that participants must meet to qualify for certification initially, as well as progress criteria they must fulfill over time.  These graphs show what farmers and the organizations supporting them have to do now get certified, and what they can […]

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 […]