Not Just For Foreign Foods: Fair-Trade Label Comes To U.S. Farms

Not Just For Foreign Foods: Fair-Trade Label Comes To U.S. Farms

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#FairTradeCertification comes to the U.S. Check out @NPR's article featuring @FairTradeUSA and @WholesumHarvest
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 7:15am

CAMPAIGN: National Farmworker Awareness Week

CONTENT: Article

Workers at a tomato farm in Nogales, Ariz., got a check this month for more than $30,000. And they expect more money to come.

The approximately 130 workers of Wholesum Harvest are still deciding how to spend the money, but they say their initial priorities include subsidizing transportation, recreation areas and medical insurance.

Located just north of the Mexican border, the family-owned Wholesum Harvest is the first farm in the United States to receive certification from Fair Trade USA, which means it has demonstrated compliance with a checklist of more than 300 standards detailing working conditions and environmental protection.

Every fair-trade purchase involves a small financial premium paid by retailers and, ultimately, consumers. As the funds from these premiums accumulate, workers receive distribution checks and organize into committees to decide how best to spend the money.

Consumers in the United States have likely seen fair-trade labels on coffee beans or cocoa grown by farmers in countries like Ethiopia or Guatemala. But fair-trade certification now covers everything from clothing to seafood, and Fair Trade USA wants to expand its labels to cover domestic operations as well.

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Elise Segars
Fair Trade USA