After working for more than a decade in Central America and helping Nicaraguan coffee farmers improve their livelihoods through an organic coffee export cooperative, Paul Rice founded FairTrade USA (also known as TransFair USA) in 1998 to bring the fair trade movement to the United States.
FairTrade USA promotes a market model that guarantees small-family agricultural producers a fair price for their products, direct trade and access to credit and support for sustainable agriculture. Fair Trade USA is the leading independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies that offer Fair Trade products and their international suppliers to guarantee compliance with Fair Trade principles.
And as a development agency, Fair Trade USA educates consumers, builds supply chains for Fair Trade, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the system, and provides farming communities with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople.
IMPACT AS OF JAN. 2013:
- Enabled family farmers in the developing world to earn nearly $225 million in above-market income, bringing dramatic improvements in health, housing and education to their communities. Companies now taking part in Fair Trade include a rapidly growing range of powerful mainstream retailers and other industry leaders.
- The Fair Trade Certified™ label offers consumers a simple way to know that their products were produced in a socially-responsible manner. The third-party verification guarantees that strict social, economic and environmental standards have been met. Now more than 11,000 different products can be found in over 70,000 retail locations across the United States.
- Trained and empowered over 10,000 family farmers in Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Rwanda to boost their incomes and living standards by improving crop quality and strengthening cooperative management capacity.
- By the end of Dec. 2011, the latest numbers that are available, there were 1,030 Fair Trade farmer and worker organizations and 1.5 million individual farmers and workers. This led to 5 million beneficiaries.
- Retail sales in 2010 were $1.2 billion. In March 2012, Fair Trade USA reported new data revealing that sales of Fair Trade Certified™ products grew 75 percent between Q1 and Q4 2011.
- Learn more: http://fairtradeusa.org/what-is-fair-trade/impact
SEE THEIR WORK IN ACTION: