The Common Good
September/October 2007

More U.S. Fair Trade

by Janet Dorman | September/October 2007

I was pleased to see your special May 2007 issue on trade justice and applaud your coverage of fair trade.

I was pleased to see your special May 2007 issue on trade justice and applaud your coverage of fair trade. While I appreciate the attention to fair trade in Great Britain and am inspired by its practice in the United Kingdom, I was disappointed that little attention was given to the exciting and rapidly growing fair trade movement in the United States. With the exception of the excellent article on Divine Chocolate ("Not Just Heavenly, It's Divine," by Dan Nejfelt), in which the role of Lutheran World Relief is highlighted, scant reference is made to the growing consumer awareness of fair trade in the U.S. and the involvement of thousands of churches, synagogues, and other faith-based organizations.

There is also no attention to the key role of fair trade certification in the U.S. and its positive impact on farmers and their families in developing countries. On the "What Can I Do?" page, there's no mention of the Fair Trade Certified™ label, an important tool for consumers to identify fair trade products. The fair trade system can work only if we buy the products, and public awareness is clearly linked to recognition of symbols such as the fair trade label.

Janet Dorman
Berkeley, California

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