In an interview with Paul Rice, CEO of Fair Trade USA, Ethical Ocean asked what fair trade has achieved so far, and what more needs doing.
In the 1980′s, when Rice established the first Nicaraguan Fair trade, organic coffee co-operatives, he’s witnessed the transformative power of Fair trade in those communities.
Yet, there’s still plenty to be done: “…two billion people still live in extreme poverty, and Fair Trade reaches less than one percent of them.”
Now at Fair Trade USA, he’s been working campaigning for double the impact of Fair trade by 2015. How? One of the first things is to raise the profile of Fair trade, by growing the grassroots movement of Fair trade towns and universities. In other national awareness campaigns, such as Fair Trade Month, Fair Trade USA “partners with hundreds of brands, retailers, NGOs and consumers to help people become aware of the powerful impact they can have on the lives of farmers and their communities around the world.”
The goal: increasing the 34% of Americans who know about it. Big ask, but who’s to say it’s impossible? The message is simple: to realise “how easy it is to make a difference – to understand that our purchases, no matter how small, really do matter.” If only we all did our little bit, what a collective difference it would make.
From the web article: Fair Trade Does Good, But Not Enough, accessible here.