Year in Review: Top 10 Achievements of 2019

Kylie Nealis December 20, 2019

2019 was an exciting year for Fair Trade Campaigns!
Let’s take a look back at the Top 10 Achievements of the year.

1) We welcomed nearly 400 advocates, supporters and partners to the 2019 National Conference in Chicago, IL.

In March 2019, we spent three inspiring days learning from leaders from across the Fair Trade movement and making new connections to support ongoing advocacy. Catch up on highlights from the event and mark your calendar for the 2020 National Conference, March 20-22, in sunny Southern California!

2) We welcomed five new Fair Trade Universities including San Jose State as the 2nd California State University to earn Fair Trade Status (2nd Largest University System in the U.S.), UNC Charlotte as the 2nd Fair Trade University in the state of North Carolina and University of Kentucky as the 2nd in the state of Kentucky.

San Jose State University (SJSU) followed in the footsteps of California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo, and became the 2nd campus in the California State System to earn Fair Trade Status, the 2nd largest in the U.S., with 23 total campuses. Led by Campus Dining, Spartan Eats, operated by Chartwells Higher Education, SJSU’s campaign is part of Chartwells’ Fair Trade commitment to source Fair Trade products at all 280 of their accounts across the country, and work with campuses to pursue Fair Trade status. We also celebrated UNC Charlotte, also led by Chartwells and campus dining, and University of Kentucky becoming the 2nd campuses in their state to earn Fair Trade Status.

3) Chartwells Higher Education launched Fair Trade Campaigns on 35 campuses across the U.S., bringing the total number of Fair Trade College/University campaigns in the U.S. to 150!

Chartwells Higher Education, in partnership with Fair Trade Campaigns, launched Fair Trade campaigns at 35 of their campus accounts across the U.S. in fall 2019, supporting exponential growth of our Fair Trade College & University network. The 35 campuses are part of an initial cohort that will grow over the next several semesters, culminating in all 280 of their campus accounts achieving Fair Trade Status. Read more.

4) We developed several new resources and guides for advocates, including a Social Justice Organizing Guide, Anti-Trafficking and Child Labor and Free vs. Fair Trade 101’s.

We know that our network is hungry for resources, organizing and strategy tips to help move your Fair Trade advocacy forward and this year we created several new resources to help you do so from our Social Justice Organizing Guide to our Anti-Trafficking and Child Labor 101 and Free vs. Fair Trade 101. Check out our full library of Fair Trade 101 fact sheets and resources here.

5) Fair Trade Universities expanded even further in the University of California system.

There are now active Fair Trade University campaigns at eight out of ten University of California (UC) campuses. In 2018, we celebrated the designation of UC Berkeley and UC Irvine, joining UC San Diego and UCLA and there are now campaigns underway at UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, UC Merced and UC Riverside. We’re thrilled to be working with all of these UC Campuses to advocate for Fair Trade, and look forward to scoping the University of California becoming the first Fair Trade University-designated system in the world.

6) Three Schools earned the Fair Trade School designation, including Saint Andrew’s School, the first Fair Trade School in the state of Florida.

First in state declarations become less common as our network continues to grow, and we’re thrilled to have celebrated this achievement in 2019 with Saint Andrew’s School becoming the first Fair Trade School in Florida! Mentored by nearby Lynn University, who became a Fair Trade University in 2018, Saint Andrew’s earned the designation in record-breaking time too! We also welcomed two other Fair Trade Schools in 2019, Anna High School (TX) and Blair Academy (NJ).

7) Fair Trade campaigners sent almost 2,000 valentines to farmers and artisans and nearly 100 colleges/universities and schools participated in Fair Trade Finals.

Thanks to our amazing campaigners, and our program partners at Divine Chocolate, Quilling Card and Sense Ecuador, we were able to send thousands of valentines to farmers and artisans in Ghana, the Vietnam and Ecuador via our 2019 Valentine’s Day program. Help us surpass that number next year – subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when we launch our 2020 Valentine’s Day program in January. Also, at the end of the spring and fall semesters, hundreds of colleges/universities and high schools participated in our Fair Trade Finals program Thanks to generous donations from our brand sponsors – ecoGrounds, Chuao Chocolatier, Friendship Organics, Faire.Shop, Zambeezi, Little Secrets, Allegro Coffee, Traditional Medicinals, Lara Bar and Gallant International Inc., we reached tens of thousands of students, staff and faculty with the message of Fair Trade.

8) Our team grew! We welcomed eight new Regional Fellows in Fall 2019 to support our campaigns and grow our regional networks across the country.

© Jessica Yurinko

Our 2018-19 Fellows finished their term in mid-October, passing the baton to their successors. It’s a bittersweet transition but we’re lucky to have an amazing team individuals on board for 2020! Meet our new 2019-20 Regional Fellows, and hear takeaways from our 2018-19 team and check out some of the valuable resources and training they created to help support our Fair Trade advocates across the country here.

9) New Fair Trade Campaigns launched in major cities including Manhattan and Nashville.

We were thrilled to welcome Fair Trade Manhattan and Fair Trade Nashville to our network in 2019. Both campaigns have made excellent progress, Manhattan partnering with NYC Fair Trade Coalition and Nashville with Nashville Ten Thousand Villages. We can’t wait to see how they progress in 2020! Connect with Fair Trade Manhattan here and Fair Trade Nashville here.

10) We presented at two International Fair Trade Conferences, 13th Annual International Fair Trade Towns Conference in Wales and 15th World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) International Summit in Peru.

Fair Trade Campaigns Director Billy Linstead Goldsmith represented Fair Trade Campaigns at both the 13th annual International Fair Trade Towns Conference in Wales and the 15th annual World Fair Trade Organization International Summit in Peru. He shared strategies and success stories from Fair Trade campaigns in the U.S. and made connections to continue strengthening the global network of Fair Trade advocates.

Looking ahead to 2020, we can’t wait to celebrate these achievements and more at the 2020 National Conference. We hope you’ll join us!

This list just scratches the surface of everything that happened in the past 12 months. Thank you to everyone who made this year such a success, from our Fellows and volunteers, to our campaigners and partners. This work wouldn’t be possible without your energy, commitment and ongoing support. We’re excited to see what 2020 has in store!

From all of us at Fair Trade Campaigns,
warm wishes for a very happy holiday season and a bright New Year

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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.