Tag Archives: Fairtrade International

310. A framework for Fair Trade: Exit, voice and loyalty

I have moved four times since I finished graduate school more than 10 years ago.  Precious few of my textbooks have traveled with me through all those long-distance moves.  One that has is a slender, dog-eared volume that advances in relatively few pages an exceptionally robust conceptual framework: Albert Hirschman’s Exit, Voice and Loyalty.  Applying […]

309. Fair Trade and governance, revisited

The Fair Trade Certification system has been convulsed since Fair Trade USA broke ranks with Fairtrade International more than a year ago, introducing its ambitious Fair Trade for All initiative and changing the rules of the game.  The substance of the decision rankled coops and Fair Trade pioneers.  But what seemed to really unite opposition […]

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 […]

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 […]

211. Fair Trade for All: A summary

(NB: An updated version of this summary, including links to new content, was published on 10 November 2011.) A few weeks ago I was pulled into a meeting with Paul Rice from Fair Trade USA that sent this blog swerving off its normal path and into a collision course with controversy.  For the past month […]

210. Bill Fishbein debates Fair Trade for All

In 1962, President Kennedy gathered Nobel laureates from across the Western Hemisphere at his residence in Washington.  He welcomed them by saying that the White House had never had before seen such a gathering of intellect, with the possible exception of the evenings when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. Bill Fishbein may be no Thomas Jefferson, […]

207. Governance matters

Fair Trade USA recently decided to break with Fairtrade International and change the rules governing Fair Trade Certification. Fairtrade International, for its part, decided to increase the representation of producers in its governing body.  These decisions shine some light on a dimension of the coffee trade that often goes unnoticed and underappreciated — coffee chain governance.  […]