...Any definition of
a culture of peace must address the problem of achieving justice for communities
and individuals who do not have the means to compete or cope without structured
assistance and compassionate help.
"Fair Trade supports
some of the most bio-diverse farming systems in the world. When you visit a Fair
Trade coffee grower's fields, with the forest canopy overhead and the sound of
migratory songbirds in the air, it feels like you're standing in the rainforest."
-- Professor Miguel Altieri, Leading expert and author on agroecology
and GATT have about as much to do with free trade as the Patriot Act has to do
-- Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Presidential candidate
hit me very early on that something was terribly wrong, that I would see silos
full of food and supermarkets full of food, and kids starving. ... In Fair Trade,
we see ourselves as this infinitesimal part of the world economy. But somebody's
got to come up with an alternative model that says children eating is No. 1."
-- Medea Benjamin,
co-founder, Global Exchange, and former U.N. nutritionist
There is hardly
a study in the entire literature which fails to demonstrate that satisfaction
in work is enhanced or that other generally acknowledged beneficial consequences
accrue from a genuine increase in workers' decision-making power. Such consistency
of findings, I admit is rare in social research
-- Paul Blumberg
is very important for you to know that fair trade leads to better roads, better
health and better lives for farmers not just in Nicaragua, but around the world."
-- Rosario Castellon, former director of PRODECOOP
people become economically empowered, they gain political and social power. Many
of the groups that we work with do more than just produce crafts; they're involved
in community development, health and education. For the women we work with, the
effe ct is even greater. As they gain employment, they become able to leave abusive
situations, to seek legal assistance, to acquire education, to become independent.
Their work allows them to be economically significant in the family and gives
them leverage to be considered an equal ."
-- Bob Chase, executive director,
fair price is a solution. It has given us the chance to pay a good price to our
farmers. Those who are not in Fair Trade want to participate. For us it is a great
opportunity. It gives us hope."
-- Benjamin Cholotío
low prices paid to small producers on the national market mean that the best Mexican
products are exported. Fair Trade makes it possible for small producers to also
receive dignifid prices in the national market and to not depend exclusively on
-- Comercio Justo Me´xico
needs of small farmers, whether they grow coffee [in the South] or produce [in
the North], may be quite similar. Both groups need better access to and more control
over the market. That can only happen if consumers use their market power to vote
for fair prices to the grower, better access to financing for small farmers, and
more environmentally sustainable production."
-- Rink Dickinson, Co-Director,
Equal Exchange warehouse houses organic coffee from peasant farmers in Oaxaca,
Mexico. It houses watermelons from disadvantaged, black farmers from Georgia,
South Carolina, and other parts of the south. Both the watermelon and the coffee
farmers have created co-ops to arrange marketing and give them a chance against
larger growers and processors. The implications of this convergence between the
work of the watermelon farmers, peach farmers, tea growers, and coffee farmers
-- Rink Dickinson, Co-Director, Equal Exchange
failure so far of the governments of so many of the worlds most powerful countries
in the face of such egregious unfairness ... to make the slightest progress on
the issue of fair trade is hard to explain."
-- Colin Firth
I visited coffee farms in Ethiopia, the farmers could not believe we spend a week's
wages in their country on a cup of coffee in ours, because they see so little
of the profits. Oxfam's fair trade campaign helps right this wrong.
I pity the man who
wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve
in the process.
-- Benjamin Harrison
trade. Would it not be more logical to label unfair products?"
"A bite of fair Trade
chocolate means a lot to farmers in the South. It opens the doors to development
and gives children access to healthcare, education, and a decent standard of living."
-- K. Ohemeng-Tinyase, Managing Director of Kuapa Kokoo cocoa cooperative, Ghana
"Fair Trade is
part of a larger movement about corporate social responsibility, influenced by
the public's desire to deal with companies that are (committed) to workplace quality,
the environment and employee well-being."
--Mac McCoy, president, dZi--The
Trade is a market-based, entrepreneurial
response to business as usual: it helps
third-word farmers developing direct market
access as well as the organizational and
management capacity to add value to their
products and take them directly to the
global market. Direct trade, a fair price,
access to capital and local capacity-building,
which are the core strategies of this
model, have been successfully building
farmers' incomes and self-reliance for
more than 50 years."
~ Paul Rice
business which depends for existence on
paying less than living wages to its workers
has any right to continue in this country.
By living wages I mean more than a bare
subsistence level --I mean the wages of
produced under conditions which do not
meet a rudimentary standard to decency
should be regarded as contraband and not
allowed to pollute the channels of international
our country there was no tradition of fermenting
cocoa. With Fair trade income we were able to
implement a fermentation program to improve
the quality of our cocoa and to convert our
production to certified organic. This improved
our position in the export market. The Fair
Trade market is a very important market for
the survival of our associates."
-- Isidoro de la Rosa, Executive Director of
CONACADO cocoa cooperative, Dominican Republic
not here at Equal Exchange just to be tools
of farmers, but to explore what it means to
be of service. Business in our society has lost
the notion--if it ever had it--that it should
do more than create wealth and move goods back
and forth, that it should be of service to greater
society. ... We learn from the farmers about
life's basic priorities, about getting by with
less, about living in harmony with the earth.
They learn from us about international business,
the marketplace, promotion and fina nce. Our
customers hold the web together. As more take
part, the web grows stronger and we all gain
hope from our exchanges. That's alternative
-- Jonathan Rosenthal, executive director, Equal
Fair Trade movement is growing as people
realize that they can help alleviate poverty
and protect the environment by choosing
Fair Trade products.
want to begin in working-class neighborhoods.
We want to test the concept there, because our
idea is that fair trade should not just be for
the elites, but for everyone, for the majority,
for the poor people. Quality food for poor people.
Why just quality for the rich? And at an equal
-- Victor Sua´rez, Exective Director, the National
Association of Peasant Marketing Enterprises
you buy Fairtrade products you can guarantee
that the farmers who have worked hard to
grow them get a minimum price. Fairtrade
is a way of giving regular support – and
enjoying delicious high quality foods at
the same time.
Free Trade has been so good to our standard
of living, then WHY has our largest employer
gone from high union wage paying and benefits
GM to low wage paying benefits skirting Wal-Mart???
-- Barbara Toncheff
trade benefit many. From farmers in producer
countries to students in a U.S. school studying
the environment, the concept and practice of
fair trade connects producers and consumers
in new and powerful ways. It is the nexus for:
meeting both environmental and economic considerations
of indigenous peoples; re-balancing the trading
relationship between North and South; building
a link between U.S. policy and publics to a
larger world community that is knocking at the
-- TransFair USA, 2002
to the Fair Trade market, our standard of living
has substantially increased. With your support,
we look forward to a more promising future."
-- Miguel Trigoso, Marketing Manager, APARM
coffee cooperative, Peru
to Fair trade, we will not die of hunger. We
will not lose our land. Our children can attend
school. I want to send thanks to all of the
churches that purchase our coffee. Thanks to
you, we have a seed of hope in our lives."
-- Jose Luis Castillo Vasquez, member of the
Equal Exchange-supported Las Colinas cooperative,
El Salvador, and father of six
Fair Trade we have an incentive to invest in
social programs that benefit producers and the
community. We also receive higher incomes to
sustain ourselves. If it weren't for Fair Trade,
we wouldn't exist as banana producers since
the amount we receive for a box of conventional
bananas does not cover our expenses."
- Edinson Cabana Zapata, co-op member, ASOPROBAN
banana cooperative, Colombia