OAKLAND, CA. U.S. – To kick off Fair Trade Month, Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America, announces the expansion of Fair Trade Certified products across several categories, including home goods and apparel, and the launch of a new category: seafood.
In 2015, Fair Trade USA partnered with 74 new companies (for a total of 1019), and helped launch hundreds of new Fair Trade Certified products into the North American market.
Fair Trade Month, celebrated in October, is the perfect time for retailers, brands and ethically-minded consumers to join together to raise awareness for the global impact of Fair Trade. Visit BeFair.org to learn about Fair Trade, browse the various products that are now available, and find ways to get involved.
Your support helps to empower over 1.4 million farmers and workers in 80 countries across the globe who grow, sew and harvest our favorite products.
“Fair Trade has made a huge difference in my life,” says Ulysma Desiline, a Fair Trade mango grower in Haiti. “Working with a Fair Trade cooperative allows me to support my family and my community.”
More Ways to Buy Fair, Be Fair
The growth and increased availability of Fair Trade empowers shoppers to choose products that make a real difference. It ensures that farmers can earn more money for their hard work, improve their communities, protect the environment and grow the best products possible. Recent highlights include:
- Fair Trade Hits the High Seas: The first ever Fair Trade tuna launched in Safeway stores in early 2015, and has rapidly expanded ever since. It’s the first certification program and consumer facing label for social and environmental responsibility in fishing communities. For every Fair Trade fish sold, fishermen earn an additional Premium which they use to invest in their business, community and family well-being.
- Find Fairness in Every Room of the Home: West Elm, the first-ever home retailer to offer Fair Trade Certified products, now offers over 400 Certified items, a 178 percent increase over fall/holiday 2014. Premium organic brand Coyuchi launches a collection of Fair Trade Certified Air Weight Bath Towels. Known for their luxurious, organic bedding, Boll & Branch adds a collection of Fair Trade Certified towels to a lineup of sheets, pillowcases and cable knit throws. And Under the Canopy brings its soft and luxurious throw blankets to Macys.com.
- Fair Trade Fashion for the Whole Family: Outdoor clothing company Patagonia expands offerings to 192 Fair Trade styles (159 new this fall) including Fair Trade Certified denim, outerwear and baby gear in addition to an impressive lineup of tees, tops and yoga styles for men and women. Oliberté, known for the first-ever Fair Trade Certified shoes, is working hard to launch the world’s first baby shoes! Beginning with a Kickstarter campaign, they plan to officially launch in stores and online by the end of October. Threads for Thought launches Fair Trade tees produced in a carbon neutral Wildlife Works factory in Kenya, supporting families who now can send their children to school. Obey launches its first Fair Trade Certified clothing collection with 40 styles for fall.
- The Fruits of Our Labors: New data shows that Fair Trade USA’s produce imports hit an all-time high in 2014, jumping 26% in response to rising consumer demand for ethically-sourced products. Retailers like Whole Foods Market, Costco, Sam’s Club, Earth Fare and Haggen now offer over 25 Fair Trade Certified fruits and vegetables including strawberries, asparagus, melons, eggplant, peaches, tomatoes, peas, green beans, squash and mini-carrots.
- Fueling the Buzz: Keurig Green Mountain partners with Hugh Jackman to create Fair Trade Certified Laughing Man Coffee, now available in single-serving K-cups. Simple Truth boosts its commitment to Fair Trade with the addition of three new Certified blends. BJ’s Wholesale Club, a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States, has expanded its Fair Trade Certified assortment to include Wellsley Farms Coffee varieties.
Additional new products across Fair Trade USA’s robust food and beverage categories include: Food Should Taste Good Real Good Bars, Cascadian Farms oatmeal squares and granola, Kashi Organic Chewy Granola and Seed Bars, more than 15 Fair Trade Certified chocolate bars from Vosges, Zola’s chocolate-covered coconut, acai-blueberry and banana bites, a new lineup of sugars, agave and honey from Wholesome Sweeteners, ZICO 100% Organic Coconut Water, and Good Farms grape tomatoes.
Simple Ways to get involved this Fair Trade Month:
• Visit BeFair.org for more information
• When shopping, look for the Fair Trade Certified label and Buy Fair. Encourage your local retailers to offer more Fair Trade products.
• Spread the word, read and share stories, videos and educational infographics about the people behind our products.
• Join the #BeFair social media community and visit BeFair.org to enter for daily giveaways.
• Participate in the #BeFair Twitter Party on Tuesday, October 5, at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT to join the conversation and win Fair Trade prizes.