Best in Fair Trade Awards: Which town will you nominate?

Courtney Lang March 7, 2012

Only 3 weeks are left to nominate organizations for the first inclusive “Best in Fair Trade” Awards for N. America nonprofits & businesses and we think there are some deserving Fair Trade Town campaigns that need your nomination support!

The public can nominate (by March 31), and vote, for U.S. & Canada organizations doing exemplary work in Fair Trade in 5 categories: Most positive change in a producer community; Outstanding long-term commitment to producers; Best support of the Fair Trade movement; Most effective public education program; Most effective advocacy for trade policy reform.

FTRN created the contest since no awards existed to honor organizations across all major Fair Trade recognitions. Winners will be celebrated during World Fair Trade Day in May!

Nominate, or self-nominate, nonprofits and businesses before March 31. The public will then vote for any finalists during April.

To Nominate Organizations (February 1 – March 31, 2012)

  1. Read below for contest Guidelines/Eligibility to make sure your nominee qualifies for this contest.
  2. If you are self-nominating, get a Statement of Support from someone outside of the nominated organization. The Statement, up to 100 words, can be from any person who is neither an employee, Board member, nor official volunteer/intern of the nominated organization. The Statement should explain how the organization demonstrates strong achievement in the criteria listed for its category (see criteria below in Guidelines/Eligibility).
  3. Prepare a Nominee Description, up to 500 words, explaining how the organization demonstrates strong achievement in the criteria listed for its category.
  4. Complete the online Nomination Form by the end of March 31, 2012.

To Vote for Finalists (April 16 – 30, 2012)

  1. Learn about all the finalists at the “Best in Fair Trade” Awards Finalists page (published April 16).
  2. Vote for up to 1 finalist in each category with an online ballot (link will appear here and in FTRN media on April 16).
  3. One ballot allowed per person/email address.


  • Anybody not on staff at Fair Trade Resource Network can nominate organizations.
  • Nominees must be businesses, nonprofits or government agencies with some staff or offices based in the U.S. or Canada.
  • In order to be considered eligible for this contest, nominees must participate directly in, or advocate for, people, products or businesses/organizations using any of the following Fair Trade recognitions: Fair Trade Federation, “Fair Trade Certified” by Fair Trade USA, “FAIRTRADE” by Fairtrade Labeling International, “Fair for Life Social & Fairtrade Certified” by IMO, and World Fair Trade Organization.
  • Anyone may nominate as many organizations as s/he would like. The same organization can be nominated for more than one award category, but a separate nomination form is required for each category.
  • From April 1-15, all nominations will be screened and scored by an Awards Committee at FTRN. The top 3 scoring nominations for each category will become Finalists, announced on this page by April 16. Criteria for each category are:
Category Criteria 1 Criteria 2 Criteria 3 Criteria 4
Most positive change in a producer community Size of benefitsHi: improves people’s overall quality of lifeMed: helps people a lot in 1 aspect of their livesLow: helps people somewhat in 1 aspect of their lives Length of time benefits should lastHi: > 20 yearsMed: 3-19 yearsLow: < 3 years # of locals benefittingHi: > 1000Med: 100-1000Low: < 100 Other
Outstanding long-term commitment to producers Length of relationshipHi: > 10 yearsMed: 3-9 yearsLow: < 3 years Extent of commitment # of producers benefittingHi: > 1000Med: 100-1000Low: < 100 Other
Best support of the Fair Trade movement Degree/size of support Breadth of support (inclusiveness) Need for such support Other
Most effective public education program Scope of education Impact of education Need for such education Other
Most effective advocacy for trade policy reform Scope of advocacyHi: internationalMed: stateLow: town Impact of advocacy Need for such advocacy Other
  • Voting is open to all, and each person/e-mail address can vote only 1 ballot.
  • Only 1 award can be given to each organization, so 5 organizations will become winners.
  • Winners will be announced May 5, and celebrated at many World Fair Trade Day events May 6-20.
  • All nominations should accurately represent the nominee and the category for which it is nominated. If a nomination is found to be in violation of this rule, it will result in disqualification of the nomination.
  • FTRN has final approval of any language that appears with the nominations or award announcements.
  • By entering the contest submitters grant to Fair Trade Resource Network (i) a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and publicly perform the content of the nomination, and (ii)the right to use nominee organization name and location in promotions and publications specifically related to this award contest.
  • All decisions made by voters and FTRN are final and binding.

Contact contest administrator

Email Fair Trade Resource Network at or phone 917-464-5558.

More Information

Visit our World Fair Trade Day Toolkit, Events Calendar and other pages for more information.

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Courtney Lang, National Organizer | Fair Trade Campaigns

Courtney Lang brings over 5 years of community organizing to Fair Trade Towns USA, building both the Local Food and Fair Trade networks in Vermont. As Local Food Coordinator with City Market/Onion River Cooperative, Courtney worked with local producers, institutions and consumers to grow the local food system and organize a strategic model for community engagement through farm tours, workshops, and local food challenges. Like many in the Fair Trade industry, Courtney was inspired to take action in Fair Trade when she witnessed child-labor first hand in Costa Rica. As a founding member of Fair Trade Burlington, she has worked with economic development organizations, businesses, and consumers to build awareness of Fair Trade among Vermonters. She also worked with a Fair Trade USA licensee, Vermont Coffee Company, as Friend Ambassador where she united the story of Fair Trade to every purchase of coffee.