The U.S. fair trade world has been in a state of division for quite some time. The Nation magazine in its September 10, 2012 issue has published a full-length story (http://www.thenation.com/article/169515/brawl-over-fair-trade-coffee?rel…).
The report, by Scott Sherman, makes clear why, this spring and summer, Equal Exchange, the worker cooperative that pioneered in bringing fair trade coffee to the U.S., has taken out full-page ads in the Burlington Free Press as well as Cooperative Grocer that appeal to Green Mountain Coffee Co. to disaffiliate from Fair Trade USA. FTUSA had earlier broken with Fairtrade International and announced it would relax its producer criteria and not limit its sourcing to farmer cooperatives.
In the online posting, reader comments following the article include some interesting additional comments from some of the persons quoted on both sides of the divide among fair trade coffee advocates.
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