Fair Trade: A Movement for All

Kylie Nealis February 3, 2017

True fair trade is about mutually beneficial relationships rooted in trust and respect spanning geographic and cultural boundaries.

As a global movement, fair trade brings attention to people around the world who work under exploitative conditions and highlights the true costs of goods in global supply chains. Organizations and activists, businesses and brands, farmers, workers and artisans have diligently worked for more than 40 years to bring greater balance to the terms of trade.

TCGA-Cocoa-BelizeIn recent months, we have watched as the term ‘fair trade’ has been grossly misused by politicians to energize their supporters while vilifying others. We have seen the term used to exclude people and encourage an isolationist agenda. These ideas stand in direct opposition to the concepts of justice and inclusivity that underlie our movement.

For far too long, conventional trade has maintained a narrow focus on the lowest common denominator. Efficiency at all costs, lower prices, and little consideration for the full social, economic and environmental impacts have been hallmarks of conventional international trade. Massive consolidation of power in supply chains has resulted in fewer options for consumers, farmers and workers, and unprecedented wealth controlled by few. Oxfam’s recent report on global inequality revealed that just eight men control more wealth than the world’s 3.6 billion poorest people combined.

Global trade and the trade deals that accompany it are not inherently bad. They provide an opportunity to deliver the benefits of trade more broadly, but only if they are used for that purpose. Fair trade, with its focus on inclusion and empowerment, shows that trade can – and must – be more equitable.

If we hope for a society – in the U.S. and around the world – that is more equal and just, we must press trade into the service of people.

  • True fair trade creates shared value throughout supply chains.
  • True fair trade promotes openness and transparency.
  • True fair trade respects human rights.
  • True fair trade supports diversity.

We the undersigned support trade that is truly equitable for all, including artisans, farmers and workers, traders and brands, consumers and civil society. Fair trade will never be about exclusion, but about expanding the benefits of trade for those who need it most.

As the U.S. considers renegotiating or entering into new international trade agreements, we encourage the inclusion of authentic fair trade principles. We urge all who care about human rights, shared value, transparency and diversity to call, write or meet with their elected officials and make your voice heard.

To learn more about authentic fair trade, visit the websites of the organizations listed below.

Additional Signatories

A Fair Trade World

A New York Affair

Abrazo Style

African Bronze Honey

Aid Through Trade



Alternatives Global

America’s First Fair Trade
Town Committee

Azizi Life

Baskets of Africa

Ben & Jerry’s


Blossom Inspirations

Bridge for Africa

Brooklyn Cookie Company


Cafe Fair Coffee

Canaan Fair Trade

Canaan Palestine

Canadian Fair Trade Network     .

Center for Amazon
Community Ecology

Cheppu from Himalaya

Chicago Fair Trade

Conscious Step

Cooperative Coffees

CRS Ethical Trade

Dean’s Beans

Dhana Inc.

Domestic Fair Trade

Dr. Bronner’s

Dunitz & Company

dZi Handmade

Eighth Wonder


Fair Jewelry Action

Fairtrade Canada

Fair Trade Advocacy Office

Fair Trade Designs

Fair Trade Judaica

Fair Trade LA

Fair Trade Winds

Farmworker Association
of Florida



Food Chain Workers Alliance

Food Democracy Now!

Food Empowerment

Freedom’s Promise

Friends of the Third World

Glee Gum

Global Crafts

Global Handmade Hope

Global Mamas

Gracias Fair Trade

Green America

Greenheart Shop

Grounds for Change

Hamro Village

Higher Grounds

HumanKind Fair Trade


Injustice Boycott

Inter-American Trading Inc.

InterReligious Task Force
on Central America

Jamtown LLC

Jenny Krauss

Jubilee Traders

Just Fare Market

Just Haiti


Latitude Fair Trade

Lucia’s Imports

Lucia’s World Emporium  .


Maggie’s Organics

Malia Designs

Mankato Area Fair Trade
Town Initiative 

Manos Zapotecas

Matr Boomie

MayaMam Weavers

Mayan Hands

Mira Fair Trade

Nielsen Massey


Ohio Fair Trade Network

One World Fair Trade

One World Project





Organic Consumer Association

Pachamama Market

Partners of Just Trade

Path of Paper

Peace Coffee

Plowsharing Crafts

Project Have Hope

Pueblo a Pueblo

Quilling Card

Raven + Lily

Reflective Images Jewelry

River Fair Trade

Sambah Naturals

Sandpiper Imports


Shastra Home

Shop Sapphire 


Tenfold Fair Trade Collection

Thanksgiving Coffee

The Chain Collective

The Coffee Trust


Trade Roots

Untours Foundation


Venture Imports

Victoria Road

Wanderlust Jewelry

Warehouse Workers Resource Center

Washington Fair Trade Coalition

WHEAT / WHEAT’s Hand to Hand Project

World Fair Trade Organization

World Peaces

World Village Fair Trade

Worldly Goods


Woven Promises

Y’abal Handicrafts

Zee Bee Market LLC






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Kylie Nealis, National Organizer for Fair Trade Colleges & Universities

Kylie brings over 5 years of community organizing and non-profit experience to Fair Trade USA, previously working with Global Exchange and Sierra Club. At Global Exchange she took on a variety of roles including Community Rights Program Associate, Fair Trade Campaign Coordinator, Fair Trade Store Sales Associate and Interim Director of Operations. For the past two years she worked in the Executive Office at Sierra Club providing support to C-level staff and the Board of Directors. Kylie is knowledgeable and passionate about Fair Trade, climate and energy issues, human rights and social and economic justice. Kylie graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Community Studies and Politics. She also lived in Thailand for 5 years and is conversational in Thai and learning Spanish. In her free time, Kylie enjoys being outdoors, hiking and traveling.