Fair Trade Proof: The Ultimate In Transparency
As the idea of fair trade catches on in an ever-increasing number of places, more and more people ask for “proof” that fair trade is indeed fair. We often question the claims of others, and we know that one of the least transparent links in the fair trade chain is the certification system. As a collective, Cooperative Coffees has launched our response to these questions – FairTradeProof.org (insert hyperlink?). All of our cans of coffee are marked with a unique lot number that consumers can use to trace their coffee back to its origins.
The goals of Fair Trade Proof are to make each step of a fair trade coffee purchase visible and easy to understand. We provide proof of our fair trade claims, backed up by all of the paperwork and documentation associated with each transaction. This not only demonstrates transparency by connecting roasters and producers through a document trail, but also provides a place for roaster members, inspectors, producers, and the general public to access relevant information about the Fair Trade coffee industry. Fair Trade Proof shines a light on information about Fair Trade transactions that has never before been publicly available.
Our hope is that in discovering and utilizing this tool, consumers will be inspired to look beyond the simple Transfair label and demand that traders and sellers stick to what should more than just Fair Trade rhetoric -- that is, total transparency. By gaining access to the "insider's scoop" of the business transaction between producer and importer/roaster, the consumer becomes engaged in the process.
Fair Trade Federation Membership
The Fair Trade Federation (FTF) evaluate organizations for their full commitment to fair trade principles (no matter what kind of product they sell). FTF is the association of North American retailers and importers who are fully committed to fair trade and strive to only sell items sourced according to fair trade principles. With fair trade at the heart of what they do, Federation members commit to: 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, and Respecting Cultural Identity.
Each organization undergoes a rigorous screening process to evaluate their trading practices and the depth of their commitment to these principles. By approaching business and development in a holistic way, members work to make trade a tool to alleviate poverty, reduce inequality, and create opportunities for people to help themselves. Member organizations offer a broad product range from coffee, tea, sugar, olive oil, and soap to accessories, home decor, stationary, baskets, personal care items, product packaging, unique gifts, and more. Only FTF members will display the FTF logo on materials connected to their businesses.