Below is an updated post from December 21st which now includes a list of the Fair Trade Stakeholder Council participants and some information on how others can get involved.
North America Fair Trade Stakeholder Council Forms to Clarify the Direction of Fair Trade
With Fair Trade experiencing monumental change in the past few months, committed stakeholders in N. America have started a dialogue initiative to clarify the direction for the Fair Trade movement in N. America with the goal of upholding its benefits for marginalized producers around the world.
The initiative, called the N. America Fair Trade Stakeholder Council, will begin with around 40-50 nonprofits, advocacy organizations, committed companies, producer/farmer/ worker groups, academics and others, who will hold conference calls and email discussions over several months before attending an in-person summit April 30 – May 2, 2012. Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN), Fair World Project (FWP), and Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA) comprise the Organizing Committee leading the initiative.
At present, the Council seeks to advance these 4 goals:
- Define fair trade and the movement, what they are and what they are not
- Organize the North American fair trade movement under a coordinated infrastructure with a common vision
- Reach agreement on a plan for cooperation and accountability within the movement
- Develop a clear external message for the movement
As the Council gets more organized and gains more momentum, it intends to periodically share its major ideas & highlights with the public, and to occasionally invite public comment. In balancing efficiency with inclusiveness and transparency, the Council intends to maintain open, clear and transparent communication channels with stakeholders in other organizations, as well as other producer and consumer regions, to collaborate as much as possible.
Organizations (to date) participating in the Council:
Bon Appétit Management Company
Ben & Jerry’s
Canaan Fair Trade
CATA – the Farmworker Support Committee
Catholic Relief Services
Community to Community Development
Domestic Fair Trade Association (OC)
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps
Fair Trade Burlington
Fair Trade Federation
Fair Trade Los Angeles
Fair Trade Resource Network (OC)
Fair World Project (OC)
Made by Hand International Co-op
Once Again Nut Butter
Presbyterian Church USA
Rural Advancement Foundation International
United Students for Fair Trade (USFT)
World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)
If anyone believes that another organization should be included, please send a nomination with a sentence about why they should be included to [email protected].
How other stakeholders can participate:
- Look for news on this page (or the DFTA or FWP pages) during January-April 2012.
- Sign-up for updates on Council progress, and invitations for public input (at e-newsletters of FTRN e-newsletter or DFTA or FWP) on issues.
- See if the Council gains enough momentum to expand formal participation after May’s summit of the tentative members.
- Contact FTRN at [email protected], or FWP, or DFTA at [email protected] with any comments or questions.