Fair Trade Towns USA Now Recognizes Fairtrade International USA Certification

Courtney Lang November 21, 2012
PRESS RELEASE                                                                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Billy Linstead Goldsmith                                                   Date: 11/21/2012
Tel. (267)886-9990
E-mail: blinsteadgoldsmith@fairtradetownsusa.org

Fair Trade Towns USA Now Recognizes Fairtrade International USA Certification

Oakland, California, 11/21/12 – Fair Trade Towns USA (FT Towns USA) has officially announced the acceptance of Fairtrade International USA under the FT Towns USA criteria.

Fair Trade Towns USA is a movement made up of a diverse group of inspired activists, engaged community groups and organizations, and socially responsible members of the business community. It is committed to raising awareness within communities so that every dollar spent can be a powerful decision, with ramifications across continents, countries and communities. In order for a community to be recognized as a Fair Trade Town, it must go through an organizing process and campaign for Fair Trade, meeting five criteria that include a certain number of committed retailers, as well as a certain number of community organizations that serve or use fair trade products. There are 28 Fair Trade Towns across the USA, and many more with campaigns in progress.

In 2008, the Fair Trade Towns USA National Steering Committee voted to have Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) house and incubate the Fair Trade Towns movement. In this way, FTUSA has become a sponsor for Fair Trade Towns providing not only leadership in collaboration with the Steering Committee but also in securing financial support. FTUSA retains fiduciary responsibility for the grant monies it receives; however, in the interest of transparency and collaboration FTUSA shares governance of Fair Trade Towns with the Steering Committee in areas such as determining approved certifications and systems that qualify for inclusion in the Fair Trade Towns criteria.

Fairtrade International USA is the national organization of the global Fairtrade system, led by Fairtrade International (FLO). Fairtrade International USA licenses the FAIRTRADE Mark, the world’s most recognized ethical label found on over 27,000 products in 120 countries. The FAIRTRADE Mark is backed by global standards developed through consultation with producers and their trade partners and audited by a rigorous certification system from farm to shelf. More than 1.2 million farmers and workers around the world participate. Fairtrade farmers and workers are represented at the highest levels of decision-making, including Fairtrade International’s Board of Directors, General Assembly, and Standards Committee. They are served by a global support network of 50 locally-based liaison officers who provide on-the-ground training to farmers and workers in 62 countries.

After much research and careful consideration, the National Steering Committee of Fair Trade Towns USA has concluded that the Fairtrade International USA program meets many rigorous standards that are crucial to Fair Trade.  Fairtrade International USA joins other certifiers, including IMO Fair for Life, Fair Trade USA, and all members of the Fair Trade Federation as part of the overall Fair Trade Towns movement.


If you would like more information on Fairtrade International USA please contact Michael Zelmer at Michael.zelmer@fairtrade.ca. To learn more about Fair Trade Towns USA, please visit www.fairtradetownsusa.org, or contact Billy Linstead Goldsmith, National Coordinator, at blinsteadgoldsmith@fairtradetownsusa.org or (267) 886-9990. To learn more about Fair Trade USA, please visit www.fairtradeusa.org, or contact Jenna Larson, Public Relations Manager at jlarson@fairtradeusa.org or (510)663-5260 xtn 383.




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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.