Beilul Naizghi protesting to end sweatshops June 2013 Photo Credit: Global Exchange

Beilul Naizghi protesting to end sweatshops June 2013 Photo Credit: Global Exchange

The following Fair Trade Roundup was written by Global Exchange Fair Trade Summer intern Beilul Naizghi.

 This issue reminds you to spread the word about a new Fair Trade internship at Global Exchange and proposed changes to Fairtrade International’s hired labor standards, plus the vetted list of Fair Trade related articles below in the “News to Peruse” section.

Roundup Sections:

1. Featured Fair Trade Update

2. Global Exchange Fair Trade Update

3. Fair Trade News to Peruse


901ebb4b-3a2c-4e82-b1f9-cbe7a3ca4400 1. Featured Fair Trade Update: FLO’s proposed changes to hired labor standards

Fairtrade International just finished soliciting feedback for proposed changes to their hired labor standards.

Among the proposed changes are modifying the distribution of the premium so that up to 30% would be given directly to workers, protecting worker’s rights to organize by creating a freedom of association protocol all companies affiliated with FLO must sign and raising hired labor salaries from the current regional minimum wage.

“Hired labor standards have been one of the weakpoints in certification systems so it’s critical that they review and update the standard to provide more protections for all workers in the supply chain,” Adeline Lambert of the International Labor Rights Forum said.

The consultation period ended on August 5, 2013. Stay tuned!

Global Exchange 2013 Summer interns protesting to stop the TPP

Global Exchange 2013 Summer interns protesting to stop the TPP

2. Global Exchange Fair Trade Update: We’re Seeking a new Fall Fair Trade Intern

As summer comes to a close, here at the Global Exchange office we’re already preparing for the mass exodus of summer interns. Their presence and contributions make saying goodbye bittersweet.

The good news is, we get to welcome new interns in the Fall. So if you or someone you know is looking to gain firsthand experience in the Fair Trade movement, please check out our new internship opportunity below. You’ll get to do things like write this monthly Fair Trade Roundup (written by Fair Trade summer intern Beilul Naizghi!)

Global Exchange Fair Trade Internship

Join the Global Exchange Fair Trade team! If you are in the Ca Bay Area this Fall and looking for an internship in the Fair Trade movement, read on…

Global Exchange is looking for a self-motivated intern to join our Fair Trade team to gain hands-on experience with our Fair Trade campaign AND Fair Trade stores. We are looking for an enthusiastic, organized individual with strong writing skills to learn, grow and work with us.

To see the complete internship description, including qualifications and responsibilities, please visit Global Exchange’s Internship Web page.

Fair-Trade-News3. Fair Trade News to Peruse:


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Raul_300 dpiIt is with heavy heart that we are reporting that Raúl del Águila, pioneer in Fair Trade, sustainability, and human rights passed away from a heart attack yesterday February 13th while traveling in Germany.

Raúl del Águila was the Managing Director of COCLA, a Fairtrade certified cooperative in Peru made up of 23 primary cooperatives, the President of Pachamama Coffee Cooperative in California, served two terms as President of CLAC, the Fairtrade Producer Network representing producers in Latin America and has also served on the Board of Fairtrade International. Most recently, he was appointed to the Board of the newly established Fairtrade International USA.

He dedicated his life to developing alternatives to conventional trade and sustainable development for producers and communities. In 2010, Global Exchange honored his work by awarding him with a Human Rights Award. During his time on the Board of Fairtrade International, he helped finalize a draft constitution which made producers 50% owners of Fairtrade, with an equal say in major decisions affecting the system. With his own cooperative, COCLA, they went from selling 2% of their coffee on Fair Trade terms to 40% and used the Fair Trade Premium to open services for victims of domestic violence.

Using his Global Exchange Human Rights Award money, Raúl supported a number of Fair Trade handicraft projects for farmers and their families. He helped open up a Fair Trade store in Lima, Peru, launched a food co-op selling local products in Quillabamba and opened a coffee shop in Arequipa. He also focused efforts on developing local markets for indigenous Fair Trade products, which for many producers is the only market available to them to sell their products.

delAguilaHe saw Fair Trade not as a tool, but a change agent to promote responsible farming, business, purchasing, and just being. His hope for the future was for Fair Trade to work more with youth and to instill values of positive change for future generations.

The core of the legacy he leaves us is this one: We must continue to push for equity and transparency in international trade, we must continue to support sustainable development, we must continue to  secure rights for marginalized workers and producers, and we must continue to to raise awareness!  To this legacy he dedicated his life and to this mission we will continue to dedicate our lives.

We thank Raúl del Águila for all the work that he has done for producers and the whole Fair Trade system throughout the years. We will continue to take your legacy to build a stronger Fair Trade movement. Our hearts go out to your family, friends, and fellow cooperative members.

A few months ago Fair Trade USA (formerly Transfair USA) resigned their membership from international Fair Trade labeling organization, Fairtrade International (FLO) due to “[differing] perspectives on how to best achieve a common mission.” Despite Fair Trade USA’s 2011 announcement of it’s intentions to withdraw from FLO, many in the Fair Trade world had hoped reconciliation would be reached before the January 1, 2012 deadline.

There has been much debate and talk around this shake-up in the Fair Trade world with both Fair TradeUSA and FLO elaborating on the reasoning behind the transition.

Since the announcement, there has been a lot of change brewing with both labeling organizations. First, Fair Trade USA revealed its new labels that will appear on Fair Trade USA certified products and revealed their new initiative called “Fair Trade for All” which aims to double its impact by 2015. So, for vendors that choose to remain with Fair Trade USA but under its new certification standards, products that previously carried the ‘Bucket Boy’ label will now carry this new label.

And now, after extensive discussions with various stakeholders in the U.S., Fairtrade International has announced it will be launching new operations in the U.S. and maintaining the certification standards that FLO uses.

Fairtrade International outlined the components behind this launch, which include introducing the international FAIRTRADE Mark in the U.S. market, continued work with stakeholders to design and build an organizational structure that will reflect the needs of members and work to further expand Fair Trade in the U.S. consumer market. During the transition to an operating U.S. office, Fairtrade Canada will administer and monitor the certification and membership of the FAIRTRADE mark in the U.S. (Full disclosure: Global Exchange was at a meeting with Fair Trade advocates convened by FLO two weeks before the announcement was made public and participated in two consultations in the lead up).

According the FLO,

We recognize that there are many different approaches to Fair Trade. The global Fairtrade system will compete respectfully with FTUSA, to ensure that our cumulative efforts will continue to strengthen producers’ position in international trade and improve livelihoods. 

Only time will tell what consumers notice in the immediate and long term with another Fair Trade label in the market and different certification standards. Global Exchange will continue to advocate for Fair Trade through our retail stores and campaigns to make sure that more people are educated about the positive benefits of Fair Trade for the producers, people, and the planet.