Fair Trade Movement Celebrates 25 Years

Fair Trade Movement Celebrates 25 Years

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Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 2:00pm



(3BL Media and Just Means)- It's been several months since I've written anything about the fair trade movement, but that's not because things aren't happening. In fact, it's the 25th anniversary of fair trade! A lot of positive things have changed and from my refreshed perspective, the fair trade movement seems to be collaborating, perhaps finally finding more common ground. Perhaps.

Here’s the good news. Fair trade is doing its job- protecting small farmers despite unpredictable fluxes in the market. Coffee prices in 2013 plummeted to less than $1.10 per pound, a devastating and poverty-inducing price. According to the International Coffee Organization, the 2013 price collapse mostly impacted farmers in Central America, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru where leaf rust, La Roya,a fungal disease that destroys coffee trees wiped out 40 percent of the crops. But fair trade certified farms could depend on the fair trade minimum of $1.40 per pound, plus the additional fair trade premium of 20 cents per pound. Many of the fair trade, certifying organizations have also established emergency funding for farmers impacted by La Roya.

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Julie Fahnestock - Julie is passionate about telling the story of where business meets good. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida and is currently pursuing her MBA in Managing for Sustainability at Marlboro Graduate School in Vermont. She has a background in international development and grassroots organizing and is passionate about equitable wages, labor rights and the global income disparity. If you can't find Julie, don't worry. Grab your board and head south on A1A. She's probably surfing somewhere along Florida's coast.