Fair Trade Federation Conference

May 4, 2011

Charlie and I will be attending the Fair Trade Federation conference in Milwaukee this weekend. We’re looking forward to a wonderful time of learning and connecting with others.

Who is the Fair Trade Federation? From their website, here is their long-term vision:

The Federation envisions a just and sustainable global economic system in which purchasing and production choices are made with concern for the well-being of people and the environment, creating a world where all people have viable economic options to meet their own needs. We seek to alleviate poverty by continually and significantly expanding the practice of trade that values the labor and dignity of all people.

In my opinion, the Fair Trade Federation truly represents the heart of the movement. I have been seeking guidance in finding suppliers from the Fair Trade Federation, and they’ve been so supportive and helpful. Although we have no affiliation with the Federation at this point, we would like to become certified by the Federation as we grow our business. Certification ensures that a business adheres to the following Fair Trade principles:

  • Creating Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers
  • Developing Transparent and Accountable Relationships
  • Building Capacity, Promoting Fair Trade
  • Paying Promptly and Fairly
  • Supporting Safe and Empowering Working Conditions
  • Ensuring the Rights of Children
  • Cultivating Environmental Stewardship
  • Respecting Cultural Identity.

Click here if you want more detail.

As for this weekend, our goals are:


– questions to ask suppliers for qualification
– existing supplier resources
– where the greatest issues and needs are
– understand the “big picture” of what it takes to start a fair trade business
– forge 1 or 2 relationships that can be “mentors” for us in the process of getting started
– Walk away with 3 tangible actions that move us closer to our goals of running a sustainable, fair trade business


– learn more about the movement
– learn about problems/obstacles in the movement
– learn more about best practices
– listen to and learn from those who have been in the movement for a while. Soak in the message that they want to share.
– connect with others who are starting Fair Trade companies.
– hopefully find a good coconut oil supplier.

Click here if you want to learn more about the conference.


2 Responses to “Fair Trade Federation Conference”

  1. layer Says:

    have a fantastic time. it sounds amazing. i know you’ll probably be very busy, but if you have a chance you might be interested in checking out growing power, one of my favorite non-profit groups (also in milwaukee).


    • Robin Johnson Simpson Says:

      Hi Lauren- I love Growing Power, too! Have you gotten to visit? We didn’t have a chance, but I truly respect what Will Allen is doing.

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