Fair Trade Roundup: Big Companies Making the Switch

Here’s your weekly roundup of the latest news and updates related to Fair Trade:


BIG NEWS: 1-800-Flowers pledges to begin selling FT flowers

How did this change come about? Change.org sums it up:

Late last week, the largest florist in the world, 1-800-Flowers, responded to 54,000 Change.org members and agreed to begin selling Fair Trade flowers and insist on a strong code of conduct for all their suppliers to counteract the deplorable working conditions that thousands of female flower workers face in South America. They’ve promised to offer Fair Trade flowers in time for Mother’s Day, making 1-800-Flowers a leader in the industry.

CONFERENCE: 2011 Fair Trade Federation Conference: Building UP Fair Trade

When: May 6-8, 2011
Where: Milwaukee, WI
Details: Build UP your business knowledge, Build UP momentum for Fair Trade, and Build UP our community!
The conference will include: practical training on the business of Fair Trade combined with opportunities for networking, community building, and discussion of key issues facing the broader movement.
More details and to register: Fair Trade Federation website
Discount: Save $100 / person if you register before March 11

WEBINAR: “Sustainable Labor: Domestic Farmworker Conditions & the Fair Food Movement”

When: Mar. 8 2011; 10-11:30am PST
Cost: FREE
Register: online
Registration questions? Melissa Schweisguth
General Questions? Ron Strochlic
Developed & Coordinated by: Ron Strochlic, Food Systems Consultant; Former Director, CA Institute for Rural Studies
Hosted by: The Food Trade Sustainability Leadership Association

Webinar Summary:
This webinar will combine clips from “Fair Food: Field to Table,” a brief video documenting the movement for fair food in the United States, with presentations from industry experts. They’ll share three short, compelling and informative video segments highlighting current farmworker conditions, as well as good farm labor conditions and businesses and advocates working for change. Each segment will be followed by a brief presentation and Q& A with experts featured in the video.

Moderator: Ron Strochlic, Food Systems Consultant

  • Gerardo Reyes, Co-Director, Coalition of Immokalee Workers
  • Tim Schultz, VP of Administration, Lundberg Family Farms
  • Richard Mandelbaum, Domestic Fair Trade Association; Agricultural Justice Project; Policy Director, Farmworker Support Committee (Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas)
  • Maisie Greenawalt, Vice President, Bon Appetit Management Company

Photo Credit: EverJean/flickrARTICLE TO READ: Chocolate Is Sweet, but Chocolate Policy Would Be Sweeter

If you read the Fair Trade Roundup last week, you know that Bon Appetit, a national restaurant company, recently announced a commitment to introduce Fair Trade Certified chocolate in all of its kitchens. Since then, Helene York, director of strategic initiatives for Bon-Appetit Management Company, wrote the article Chocolate Is Sweet, but Chocolate Policy Would Be Sweeter.

Here’s my favorite part:

I’m proud to share that officially as of today, our chefs at Bon Appetit Management Company are now baking with this (Fair Trade) chocolate—making their brownies, cookies, and novelties like the strawberry-chocolate stilettos shown here. We’re buying in huge, food-service-sized quantities, and, hopefully, growing the market so it will be viable for direct-to-consumer sales in the near future.


The upcoming Fair Trade Resource Network webinar Minimum Fair Trade Content Standards for Multi-ingredient Products will now be joined by Fair Trade USA’s Vice President of Business Development and Marketing, Mary Jo Cook.
Date: February 28
Time: 2:00-2:50pm EST
Investment: $5 bucks
Presenters: Dr. Bronner’s CEO, David Bronner; Fair Trade USA’s VP of Business Development and Marketing, Mary Jo Cook ; Ben & Jerry’s Director of Social Mission, Rob Michalak
Register Here.

Check back each week right here on our Fair Trade blog for more Fair Trade News Round-Ups…your one-stop shop for current Fair Trade news and events. And if you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me!