In a 2014 video, 6 min. long, produced by Fair World Project, various senior representatives of dedicated Fair Trade brands and organizations explain how free trade has hurt marginalized producers, and how Fair Trade is a positive alternative.
PACT brand announced this month that it is launching a line of organic cotton apparel manufactured in a Fair Trade Certified facility. The line will include 19 product styles featuring 78 different items. A preview of the line featuring custom designed women’s t-shirts for Spring retailing at 14.99 launched March 7, 2014, exclusively at select Whole Foods Markets. Joe Dickson, Senior GlobalQuality Standards Coordinator for Whole Foods Market, said “We are excited to be the exclusive launch partner of PACT’s new line which also represents the first time Whole Foods Market has sold Fair Trade Certified apparel.”
On July 1, 2014, the Fair Trade Certified line will be expanded to include its underwear, leggings, camisoles, men’s t-shirts, long johns and baby products. The expanded line will be available at retailers across the US and on PACT’s website.
From seed-to-shelf, PACT follows every step of the manufacturing process in a supply chain that is fully GOTS and Fair Trade Certified by third party auditors. All of the cotton for PACT’s Fair Trade Certified line is sourced from Chetna Organic — a cooperative of 15,000 organic cotton farmers in India who practice non-GMO organic agriculture.
The Fair Trade Certified line is produced in a certified factory in India that has led the movement for the ethical and sustainable production of garments. Factory workers are permanent employees as opposed to migrant laborers, their families are covered by factory-provided health insurance, and the children of workers receive free education through high school.
Fair World Project (FWP) has published some analysis on how well different Fair Trade and eco-social seals distinguish committed brands (that is brands that are committed to building a just economy in all policies and practices) from conventional brands (that is brands that offer some certified products or ingredients but in other supply chains and practices show a lack of commitment to Fair Trade principles). The analysis currently compares 7 certifications across 8 questions about a brand’s practices throughout all its supply chains, company history, minimum percentage requirements for multi-ingredient products, focus on small producers, and more.
Fairtrade International recently announced the first commitments to its new commodity sourcing model. Rather than focusing on all the ingredients for a multi-ingredient final product, Fairtrade Sourcing Programs means companies can now make big commitments to use Fairtrade cocoa, sugar or cotton across product ranges or even their whole business. Already at launch nine companies have signed on to increase their Fairtrade purchases starting with initial 2014 volumes set to deliver $1.2m in additional Fairtrade Premium to cocoa farmers by the end of this year.
The associated label, shown at left for cocoa ingredients, looks somewhat different than the FAIRTRADE product label, under which all commercially available ingredients in a multi-ingredient final product that could be FAIRTRADE must be FAIRTRADE. The U.S. market, administered by Fairtrade America, is not presently allowing use of the label for Fairtrade Sourcing Programs.
Mars and major German, Swiss and Japanese retailers and brands were the first to make serious commitments to cocoa farmers under Fairtrade’s new commodity sourcing model. Swiss company Switcher was also announced recently as the first to pioneer the new approach in cotton.
The early commitments alone will increase Fairtrade cocoa sales sixfold in Germany in 2014 and deliver 14% growth to Fairtrade cocoa farmers worldwide, by close to 6000 metric tonnes (MT). Many of these companies have set multi-year growth targets so Fairtrade cocoa farmers will benefit from year-on-year increases to overall volumes of cocoa sales.
Fair Trade Resource Network is delighted to announce plans and resources for World Fair Trade Day in N. America, with events taking place May 3-18, 2014. Download the free World Fair Trade Day Activities Guide for tips, ideas, and resources! You can also order WFTD promotional stickers and postcards, and Fair Trade products – free of charge – at www.ftrn.org/wftd.
Across N. America, advocates are inspiring around 100,000 people to participate in Fair Trade events from May 3-18. Please join us in supporting the largest Fair Trade event in N. America each year. With over 1 million producers around the world already benefiting from Fair Trade, it’s time to raise our voices and vote with our dollars until all trade is fair! This year, individuals as well as organizations will host hundreds of events to celebrate Fair Trade.
We invite you to host WFTD events during May 3-18 - including Fair Trade festivals, fashion shows, speeches, food and drink tastings, film showings, sports games, neighborhood crawls, spa nights and concerts and much more – to promote Fair Trade and campaign for trade justice together with farmers and artisans around the world.