OAKLAND, CA (August 24, 2010)–TransFair USA™, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, today announced that it has officially declared Boston as the 20th Fair Trade Town in the United States. Now the second largest Fair Trade Town in the United States, Boston joins Buena Vista, CO; Red Bank, NJ; Madison, WI; Conway, MA; Norman, OK; and Berkeley, CA—all of which have been declared official Fair Trade Towns since March as part of the Fair Trade Towns USA campaign.
“With 20 official towns, the Fair Trade Towns USA campaign now empowers more than 2.7 million Americans to vote with their dollars to support social justice for farmers and workers in the developing world, as well as conscious, sustainable consumption within their own communities,” said William Linstead Goldsmith, National Coordinator of Fair Trade Towns USA.
The Fair Trade Boston campaign was driven and organized by the Boston Faith and Justice Network. The Boston Faith and Justice Network, started in 2006, is a community of Christians seeking justice as an expression of faith through personal, community and public policy change. As a coalition, Fair Trade Boston unites church teams, student groups, and ethical businesses to raise awareness and increase the availability and use of Fair Trade products throughout the Greater Boston area.
Fair Trade is a multi-stakeholder effort that empowers consumers to vote with their dollars for fair prices, better working conditions, environmental stewardship, and brighter futures for the people who make the high-quality products that we buy every day.
Fair Trade Towns USA unites a diverse group of inspired Fair Trade activists including project collaborators the Fair Trade Federation, a North American trade association of organizations fully committed to Fair Trade, and the Fair Trade Resource Network, which gathers, develops, and disseminates educational resources to people and organizations interested in the movement. The goal of the campaign is to raise consumer awareness, increase the availability of Fair Trade products, and drive sales in order to help lift millions of farming families out of poverty.
The specific criteria to be officially recognized as a Fair Trade Town include showcasing Fair Trade products available in local stores, developing an active citizen support network, collaborating with community institutions, engaging media, and formalizing support from the local government. These criteria are designed to empower citizens to develop a permanent platform in their communities for continued outreach and advocacy. Fair Trade Towns USA is funded in part by a generous grant of $50,000 from Green Mountain Coffee®, and a three-year commitment of $925,000 from the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Foundation. The Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Foundation was established and is led separately from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) by GMCR Founder and Chairman Bob Stiller.
The seven new towns added since March join 13 other municipalities already recognized as Fair Trade Towns, including Amherst and Northampton, MA; Brattleboro and Burlington, VT; San Francisco and Chico, CA; Milwaukee, WI; Media, PA; Montclair and Highland Park, NJ; Bluffton, OH; Ballston Spa, NY; and Taos, NM. Furthermore, active campaigns are taking place in 30 additional towns and cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago and Seattle. The movement started in England in 2000 and quickly spread across the United Kingdom and Europe, rising to 650 declared today.
About TransFair USA
TransFair USA, a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. TransFair USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment, and receive community development funds to empower and uplift their communities. TransFair USA educates consumers, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the Fair Trade system, and provides farmers with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople. Visit http://www.transfairusa.org for more information.