Happy almost February everybody. Here’s your monthly dose of Fair Trade news and updates, assembled just for you hungry readers. Don’t forget to scroll to the end of this post for the “Fair Trade in the News” section!


Almost all major chocolate companies have begun to commit to using independent, third-party programs to certify that their cocoa suppliers comply with international labor standards, but Hershey continues to lag behind the industry.

Valentine’s Day is a major chocolate buying holiday, but gifts for your sweetheart should not come at the expense of worker rights. Forced labor, child labor and trafficking continue in the cocoa industry in West Africa.

Here’s how YOU can make a difference!

♥ Create your own personalized Valentine telling Hershey to use Fair Trade cocoa for its products, like the iconic chocolate Kiss. Address your valentine to Hershey Trust at 100 Crystal A Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. Please mail your Valentines to Hershey by February 17, 2012.

♥ You can also download a Valentine to color and send.

♥ If you make your own Valentine, please scan it and send the image to the Fair Trade Project at fairtrade@globalexchange.org. We’ll post some of the favorites online!


Graphic Credit: http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com


From The CNN Freedom Project website:

In “Chocolate’s Child Slaves,” CNN’s David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast to investigate children working in the cocoa fields.

David McKenzie and Brent Swails of CNN revealed:

The Freedom Project wanted our team to answer one question: Ten years after all the major players in the chocolate industry promised to end trafficking and child labor in Ivory Coast, was that promise kept?

Sounds riveting, no? Air times and more info are online here.

Here’s a video clip from this project:


Graphic Credit: USFT


United Students for Fair Trade (USFT) has its 9th national convergence coming up. This year the theme is Fair Trade: Where Do We Go From Here? Here’s the where, when, what and why’s about it, from the USFT announcement:

Kick off your spring with more than just a spring-cleaning –join United Students for Fair Trade for our 9th National Convergence, coming up on March 2nd-4th at the University of Maryland at College Park. USFT is proud to open our annual convergence to both students and professionals to learn more about the exciting future of the fair trade movement. Register by February 1, and receive an official USFT Alta Gracia (union-made, living wage apparel) t-shirt. Registration is limited to the first 300 participants—and spots are filling quickly! Registration closes February 17th.

The theme “Where Do We Go From Here?” will cover all questions that have come up during this pivotal time in the fair trade movement with speakers representing the worker, NGO and company voices behind the movement.  There will be workshops and discussion sessions, along with the chance to browse a Fair Trade marketplace and stock up on fair trade goods. At this convergence, you will learn skills that will help you organize a movement on campus, inspire others, and empower fair trade producers all at the same time!

USFT National Convergence Links:
-Event on Facebook
-Event Registration
-Event flyer download

Questions? Contact Maria Louzon, National and Convergence Coordinator at (443)883-5226 or maria@usft.org.



From Fair Trade Resource Network announcement:
We invite you to learn about, and voice your perspectives on, this major issue on Webinar 120 on January 31 entitled “Should Unorganized Farmers Be Included in Fair Trade?

Just $5 to Register for Webinar 120
January 31, 1:00-1:50pm Eastern time

1.    Rodney North, Equal Exchange, The Answer Man – Information for the Public & Media
2.    Michael Sheridan, Catholic Relief Services, Director of the Borderlands Coffee Project (based in Ecuador)

FTRN’s Executive Director, Jeff Goldman

Level: Intermediate

Cost: Just $5 to Register for Webinar 120



The Hershey Company: Hershey Expands Responsible Cocoa Community Programs in West Africa

The Hershey Company today announced its plan to reinforce cocoa sustainability efforts by accelerating farmer and family development in West Africa, where 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown. Read more.

Huffington Post: Bring Fair Trade to Electronics

Reports about the inhumane or dangerous working conditions in Chinese factories that manufacture the innovative products for Apple, Inc. — most recently by the New York Times — have brought publicity Apple probably does not want. For this student of China’s high-tech industry, however, the revelations are not surprising. Read more.

Care2.com: How Ethical are Those Valentine’s Day Treats?

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner? It feels like we just got done with holiday craziness! If you do the Valentine’s Day thing, you’re probably planning a date night or a gift, and there’s most likely a decadent dessert in the works. How can an ethical eater make sure that those Valentine’s Day indulgences aren’t at the expense of human rights? Read more.

NYGF (New York Gift Fair) 100 days of design: Designing Change: Fair Trade Principles Inspire Innovative Products by Madeline Kreider Carlson

How do mission-driven businesses integrate principles and design? For members of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), a commitment to the nine Principles of Fair Trade not only provides the ethical foundation for their business practices, but inspires the design of products as well. Fair Trade Federation members are businesses based in the U.S. or Canada who engage in long-term trading relationships with artisans and farmers in developing countries. Their business models create sustainable, positive change by: Read more.

TIME/Techland: Will the World Ever See Fair Trade iPads?

Apple has taken the brunt of recent criticism, but don’t think that by boycotting the iPhone you’ll be doing workers in China any favors. Foxconn, the company under the most scrutiny for its labor practices, makes products for a huge swath of the consumer electronics industry including Nokia, Samsung and many others. Read more.

Responsible Cocoa: CLCCG (The Child Labor Cocoa Coordinating group) 2011 Annual Report Released

The annual report was prepared by the Offices of Senator Tom Harkin, Representative Eliot Engel, The United States Department of Labor, The Government of Cote d’Ivoire, The Ghana Ministry on Employment and Social Welfare, and the International Chocolate and Cocoa Industry. See highlights and view photos from the CLCCG annual meeting, held in Washington, D.C. in January 2012. Read more.

Join the Fair Trade Roundup Brigade!

  • Subscribe to our Fair Trade blog to receive new Fair Trade blog posts automatically.
  • News to share? If you’ve got big Fair Trade news to share, email me!
  • Enjoy this Fair Trade roundup? Then click the Share and Tweet buttons on the top right of this post to share with others. Thanks!


Global Exchange is ramping up for our ninth annual Human Rights Awards Gala happening on June 1st at the historic Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco. Ben & Jerry’s Co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield attended the gala last year, but this is the first year they will emcee the event, so those who attend are in for an extra sweet treat (including Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and Ben & Jerry sporting tuxedos!)

Ben and Jerry have been active participants in the Fair Trade movement; they recently launched a Fair Trade Certified ice-cream on Late Night With Jimmy Falon.

Since 2001, the Human Rights Awards Gala has brought together activists, supporters, and friends to recognize the efforts of exceptional individuals and organizations working for human rights from around the country and around the world. Find out who we are honoring this year by visiting www.humanrightsaward.org.

To purchase tickets: Order online (Early bird pricing ends May 17 11:59pm PST)

General event info: Visit www.humanrightsaward.org


Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Fair Trade Fund announced $33,000 in grant awards to build the Fair Trade movement. These Fair Trade Fund awards are designed to identify “break through” approaches to strengthening the Fair Trade movement.

Here’s how a few of these grants are being used:

  • Cooperative Coffees will use grant support to generate from Fair Trade coffee leaders the key practices needed to build sustainable companies.
  • A joint award to Cabrini College and St. Joseph’s University in the Philadelphia area will lead to the development of a consortium of change-maker universities in the region.

These Fair Trade Fund grants were made possible through the contributions of CRS partners and U.S. Catholics.

Fair Trade Federation Conference 2011 Photo Credit: Fair Trade Federation


Prospective FTF Member Webinar: On May 19th, FTF is hosting a webinar for prospective members to learn more about the application process. So if you know a Retailer, Cafe or Wholesaler you think would be interested, invite them to join this discussion of the FTF application process with Mary Parrish, FTF’s Membership and Program Manager.

FTF Conference Report Back: Fair Trade Federation hosted a conference in Milwaukee on May 6-8, 2011. Mary Parrish shared:

Congratulations to all of our award winners from the conference, and thanks to everyone who participated in the sessions and marketplace. It was truly an event where ideas were shared and we built relationships! Stay tuned to www.fairtradefederation.org/conference for copies of conference presentations, tips on getting involved, and photos!


FTRN reports:

Hundreds of World Fair Trade Day (WFTD) events took place in the US & Canada from May 1-15, as Fair Trade advocates celebrated the benefits of Fair Trade and built awareness of this hopeful way of doing business. With the largest number of events and participants taking place on May 14, actual World Fair Trade Day, N. America has already involved over 50,000 people – and we’re still counting! As reports are emailed to wftday@ftrn.org, the attendance tracker will be updated through the end of May.

So visit FTRN’s website to check the attendance tracker, plus see and add to the latest WFTD photos, videos and stories on their Facebook page.

Happy almost Mothers Day! Here’s your roundup of Fair Trade news and updates:

Contest entries mock Hershey’s refusal to crackdown on controversial labor practices.

The Raise the Bar, Hershey Campaign – sponsored by Global Exchange, Green America, and the International Labor Rights Forum – announced on April 28th, 2011 the winners of their “brand jamming” contest in order to bring attention to Hershey’s failure to crack down on child labor and other abuses in its cocoa supply chain.

The grand prize winner is Jason Pearson of San Clemente, CA for his mock advertisement Brand Jam, a one minute video that tells the real story of where Hershey’s cocoa comes from.

Why not watch it right now? It’s pretty awesome:

The announcement of the Hershey “brand jamming” winners coincided with Hershey’s Annual General Meeting for shareholders in Hershey, PA. Thousands of people nationwide voted to choose their favorite entries for best slogan, best video and best poster.

Here are the other winners:
Best Video: Behind the Hershey Smiles submitted by Aaron Thurman: Indianapolis, IN

Best Slogan: “Hershey: Sweet Chocolate. Bitter Story” submitted by Tyson Weems of Portland, ME
Best Poster: Children Behind Bars submitted by Jason Pearson of San Clemente, CA

Find out what the winners received and what the Raise the Bar Hershey campaign folks plan to do with the mock ads on the campaign website.

Oh, and by the way, there’s going to be a Raise the Bar Hershey Rally in NYC’s Times Square on June 8, 2011 at 10:30 am. More details to come.

World Fair Trade Day coordinating organization Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN) and sponsors (including us!) are reaching out to inspire 100,000 people to take a break from our busy lives to increase awareness of Fair Trade, by taking a Fair Trade coffee (or chocolate or tea or music, etc) break.
Here are three ways you can participate:

  1. Enjoy a Fair Trade coffee break in the comfort of your own home or office, and register it on Global Exchange’s World Fair Trade Day Coffee Break page, so your participation can be counted.
  2. It’s even more fun if you organize a small or large coffee break in your workplace, school, or community. If you do, register your event on Global Exchange’s World Fair Trade Day Coffee Break page. If it’s open to the public please register on Fair Trade Resource Network’s webpage too.
  3. Attend a World Fair Trade Day event in your area. Dozens of Fair Tradetastic events nationwide are listed on FTRN’s website. Celebrate with Global Exchange at events in Berkeley, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Shirlington, VA, and Washington, DC, listed at the end of this email.

If you’re in the Bay Area this weekend, stop by our San Francisco Store for an in-store event. Fair Trade treats, live music, and a wide selection of Fair Trade gifts made by mothers for mothers. Find out more details here.


Hear Peruvian artisans Yody Moran and Sonia Anahue’s compelling stories of their turbulent lives and learn how Fair Trade has helped them achieve economic and social stability.
Get free Fair Trade resources and learn how you can use your purchasing power to impact the world.
When: Wednesday, May 11, 7 pm
Where: Global Exchange, 2973 16th Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA
When: Saturday, May 14, 12:30-2:30pm
Where: Global Exchange Fair Trade store, 2840 College Avenue, Berkeley, CA
Brought to you by: Fair Trade Towns USA, Global Exchange, Green America, Partners for Just Trade
Also: Fair Trade crafts available for sale!
For more information CALL: 415 255 7296

How cool is this? Kimberly and Marco of Made By Hand International Cooperative sent out an exciting message earlier this week. The news? That their 100% Fair Trade retail store, Made By Hand International Cooperative located in South Bethany, Delaware, now runs 100% on solar energy! Thanks and congrats Kimberly and Marco for leading by example.


Fair Trade Webinars are in the Air! Read about what’s coming up, plus how Fair Trade advocates expressed themselves to Hershey’s CEO this Valentine’s Day.

Photo Credit: FTRN


The Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN) is producing a free webinar on How to Host a Great World Fair Trade Day Event on March 3 from 8-9pm EST. Yours truly will be moderating this informative webinar aimed at providing info and advice to those interested in planning their own World Fair Trade Day event. The webinar panelists will be Stefanie Colish, FTRN’s WFTD Organizer Coordinator, and Jeff Goldman, FTRN’s Executive Director.

Register for this free webinar here: FTRN website


World Fair Trade Day events are happening between May 1-15, 2011, and some organizers who register their event (for free) online are receiving fantastic Fair Trade products to incorporate into their event, like these added recently:
•    Theo Chocolate will donate chocolate to 20 events between 200-500 people
•   Lucuma designs will donate 10 gift baskets of crafts to 10 WFTD events
•    10 events with more than 100 people attending will receive $15 gift certificates for clothing from Maggie’s Organics

How do you receive these awesome Fair Trade goodies? Just register your event on the FTRN Events Calendar to receive an email on how to request all special offers. Find complete info about WFTD here.


Hershey CEO David West received a surprise this Valentine’s Day! A box of flowers was delivered directly to West’s office, containing handmade valentines from children outraged at Hershey’s’ continued use of cocoa that has not been Fair Trade certified to be free of child labor or cocoa prices that perpetuate poverty.  The valentines ask Hershey to “Go Fair Trade.”

Check out this must-see web page to view nearly 200 cute, funny valentines included in the box or sent directly to Hershey.

This action to pressure Hershey to go Fair Trade was a collaborative effort coordinated by Global Exchange and our Raise the Bar Campaign partners International Labor Rights Forum, Green America and Oasis.


When: March 1, 2011, 1:00pm EST
Interested in having your Canadian or US-based business join the Fair Trade Federation community? Have questions about the qualifications? Learn all you need to know during this FREE Webinar for prospective members.

Learn more and register here.


When: March 8, 2011, 1:00pm EST

Own a store? Attend this webinar to learn just how easy it is to bring Fair Trade Federation members’ products into your store, as well as how you can benefit from offering high-quality products with tremendous societal and cultural impact during this Free Webinar.  Learn more and 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!

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!

What started as a once-in-a while blog post is now a weekly series. There’s lots going on in the Fair Trade movement, so look to our weekly Round Ups for current updates. Each Round Up will feature two sections: Fair Trade Movement News and Global Exchange Fair Trade News.


Photo credit: Fast Company

Restaurant giant Bon Appetit announced a commitment to introduce Cordillera Fair Trade Certified chocolate in all of its kitchens. Fast Company’s Ariel Schwartz reports on this recent development:

Fair Trade Chocolate hit the big time this week as restaurant management giant Bon Appetit announced a commitment to introduce Cordillera Fair Trade Certified chocolate in all of its kitchens beginning on Valentine’s Day. This is a big deal–Bon Appetit provides cafe and catering services to corporations, colleges, and universities in 400 locations throughout 29 states. When the company makes a change in its food sourcing practices, it has a ripple effect. Read the entire article here.

Fair Trade Resource Network Webinars

Fair Trade Webinar 105 Community Discussion of TransFair’s Name Change to Fair Trade USA, and Pending Service Mark Application took place on 2/9/2011. Panelists included Fair Trade USA CEO Paul Rice, Equal Exchange’s Answer Man Rodney North and United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries Minister for Economic Justice, Edie Rassell. If you missed it, you can download the webinar for just $5 or wait until March 30th when it will become available for free on FTRN’s website.

Fair Trade Webinar 106 Minimum Fair Trade Content Standards for Multi-ingredient Products is coming up. Here are the details of this highly anticipated webinar:
Date: February 28
Time: 2:00-2:50pm EST
Investment: just $5!
Details: Minimum Fair Trade Content Standards for Multi-ingredient Products
Presenters: Dr. Bronner’s CEO, David Bronner; Ben & Jerry’s Director of Social Mission, Rob Michalak

World Fair Trade Day 2011 Poster Design

Take Part in World Fair Trade Day
To join in the World Fair Trade Day celebration, the Fair Trade Resource Network is inviting you to host a World Fair Trade Day event during May 1-15 and post your event to their website to help promote it.

Download the free World Fair Trade Day (WFTD) Activities Guide for tips, ideas, and resources, plus order WFTD promotional posters and postcards, and Fair Trade products – most free of charge – all on their website www.FTRN.org.

ILO and Kuapa Kokoo partner to combat child labor in cocoa industry

The International Labour Organization (ILO)  has announced it will partner with Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union in a two-year project to assist the government of Ghana in reducing child labour. The pilot will run in 15 cocoa-growing communities affiliated with Kuapa Kokoo, the only Fairtrade certified cocoa cooperative in Ghana. The project focuses on preventing and removing children from hazardous work on cocoa farms. This includes livelihood support for vulnerable families and setting up a child labour monitoring system. Learn more here.


Coco-Zen Chocolate Truffles

Fair Trade Chocolate Tasting

Join us this Sunday, February 13th, for a Fair Trade chocolate tasting. San Francisco-based artisan chocolate company Coco-Zen will be providing organic, Fair Trade Certified chocolate to sample this Sunday afternoon. Bring the kids to make Valentines cards, or use our color-your-own Valentines to ask Hershey’s to go fair trade.

When: Sunday, February 13. 1pm-4pm.
Where: Global Exchange Fair Trade Store in Noe Valley (b/t Noe and Castro).
Price: FREE!

Global Exchange Fair Trade Internship
March 7th is the application deadline for summer internships at Global Exchange. So if you’re looking for a Fair Trade summer internship, visit the internship web page for more info and to apply to our Fair Trade department. Global Exchange’s internship program offers great work experience, as well as fun weekly training seminars with dozens of other interns throughout the organization.

Send a Valentine Message to Hershey’s
Make valentines (or print out and color in this pdf) asking the Hershey’s CEO to start sourcing Fair Trade Certified cocoa. Global Exchange will email you a coupon for 10% off your purchase at any Global Exchange store if you scan your valentine and email it to us to be posted online. Deadline to email all valentines is Friday, February 18.  Visit our website for more details.

WIN Fair Trade prizes by telling educators about Fair Trade curriculum

That’s right…you can win Fair Trade prizes just by telling educators about Global Exchange’s Fair Trade curriculum. This information helps teachers teach the issues of child labor in the cocoa industry. Educators can win prizes by teaching the curriculum, too. More info here.

Host a Dark Side of Chocolate Screening during National Week of Action.

I did, which you can read about here. We make it easy for you to show this compelling new documentary about the continued use of child labor and trafficking in the cocoa industry. Order a copy plus a screening toolkit for just $6.

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!

The Fair Trade Resource Network is holding a contest to determine which photos will go into their 2011 Calendar.  Global Exchange Fair Trade has submitted 5 GREAT PHOTOS from our artisan trips to India, South Africa and Peru.sewing-women-in-rajasthan-india While we would never ask you to show Global Exchange any favoritism (wink, wink), wouldn’t it be wonderful to see these fantastic pictures adorned on the FTRN calendar for all of 2011?  You waited too long to answer.  The correct response is “Yes, it would.”

Here is the link:  http://www.fairtraderesource.org/link-up/photo-contest/

Global Exchange Fair Trade photos are #80 – #84