UPDATED: FairTrade International opens U.S. office

01/22/2013 03:10:00 PM
Mike Hornick

FairTrade International USA(UPDATED COVERAGE Jan. 24) A new organization, FairTrade International USA, has opened offices in Washington D.C. and named a board of directors plus an interim operations manager.

It’s aimed at connecting U.S. consumers to more than 25 similar organizations in Fairtrade International, as well as 1.2 million producers worldwide.

The FairTrade Mark logo, launched in 2002 and redesigned in 2011, began appearing in the U.S. last year, said Reykia Fick, media relations manager. Although most of the 27,000 products in more than 120-plus countries certified through the organization are non-produce, bananas from Oke USA, West Bridgewater, Mass., and Discovery Organics, Vancouver, British Columbia, certified through FairTrade International. Michael Zelmer, FairTrade director of Communications, said Explora and Tropic Trade LLC have also registered with the organization to import Fair Trade fruit into the U.S.

Newly elected board members are:

  • Raul del Aguila, president of Pachamama Coffee Cooperative in Davis, Calif.;
  • Bama Athreya, former executive director for the International Labor Rights Forum;
  • Tony Hall, Pacific Rim regional representative for the World Fair Trade Organization;
  • Werner Kiene, chairman of the compliance review panel of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C.; and
  • Nick Orton, board secretary for Fairtrade Canada and manager of a fish processing and smoking business.

Enrique Hennings was named interim operations manager. An agricultural economist and native of Bolivia, he recently spent two years as the producer finance manager at Fairtrade International, where he guided the Fairtrade Access Fund. He will establish the new office.

In the U.S. the logo has appeared on coffee, chocolate, tea, bubble gum and agave syrup, among other items. A list of more than 25 companies offering the mark in the U.S. is online.



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