Global Players Commit to Fair Trade Expansion

Thirty-seven leaders from the business, farming, academic, NGO and philanthropic communities recently converged to address key challenges around global poverty and environmental degradation, market failures and growing economic disparity. The meeting, which was attended by Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI), the Skoll Foundation, Fundación Avina, and Fair Trade USA, among others, was designed as brainstorming session to generate ideas for strengthening supply chains that are good for businesses, workers and the environment.

A strong focus of the meeting was the role that Fair Trade can play to find solutions for those problems. In response, leaders from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), Whole Foods Market, Reunion Island Coffee, Alter Eco and Honest Tea committed to increasing their support of Fair Trade coffee, tea, cocoa and produce.

Besides, global NGOs committed to investing in Fair Trade farmers with capital and training. Participating foundations pledged to increase their funding for impact evaluation, consumer education and farmer capacity building.

“For more than a decade, Fair Trade has been a key part of GMCR’s sustainable sourcing strategy because it helps us provide high quality coffee to our consumers and a higher quality of life for coffee farmers,” said Brian P. Kelley, GMRC’s president and CEO. “We continue to strengthen our commitment to Fair Trade through our breadth of products, projects in coffee-growing communities, and consumer awareness campaigns.”

Growing demand for agricultural demands present a unique opportunity to improve the economic prospects of more than two billion people still live on less than two dollars per day. Current marketplace trends, especially the unprecedented demand for agricultural commodities, present a unique opportunity to link more farmers with more companies, unleashing benefits to farming communities at a scale not seen before.

“We believe the best solutions will come from partnering with organizations across the supply chain,” said Frank Giustra, Chairman, Director and Founder of the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, “and this fits squarely with our focus on job creation and income generation for low-income communities.”

Image credit: Fair Trade USA