Baltimore, MD, June 9, 2011 – Catholic Relief Service’s  (CRS) 2011 Fair Trade Fund grant awards, totaling $87,000, will go to three recipients representing Fair Trade business, academia and artisan producers.
The purpose of CRS’ Fair Trade Fund is to seed innovation and creativity to address the critical challenges in the Fair Trade movement, including growth and expansion.
“Through these grants CRS is working to promote stability and growth in the Fair Trade movement in all areas by improving skills, developing leaders, and sharing models of best practices”, said Jackie DeCarlo, lead of CRS’ Economic Justice and CRS Fair Trade Fund teams. “When people in the United States purchase products such as coffee, chocolate or handcrafts from one of our fair trade partners, a contribution is made to the Fund which then goes to further research and development in fair trade markets; it’s recycling fair trade dollars,” said DeCarlo.
This year’s CRS Fair Trade Fund grants are awarded to:
Cooperative Coffees (CoopCoffee), Montreal, Canada $19,000
CoopCoffee is a Fair Trade and organic green coffee importing cooperative owned by a network of 23 locally-owned roaster companies in Canada and the United States. With this grant, CoopCoffee will lead an assembly of other Fair Trade coffee leaders and international Fair Trade trail-blazers to review and study the business practices of Fair Trade. Together, they will produce a guide of key practices and replicable actions that can be used to assist all Fair Trade businesses, producers and consumers.
Cabrini College and St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA $14,000
The overall purpose of this grant is to demonstrate how institutions of higher education can cultivate individual and institutional Fair Trade leaders. Cabrini College and St. Joseph’s University will match their grant to foster greater awareness of Fair Trade through Fair Trade immersion trips, academic research and coursework, and a conference among 12 Delaware Valley area Catholic colleges and universities. A new Fair Trade Consortium will be formed at the conference to support future collaborations to advance Fair Trade in this region.
CRS/Pakistan– Fair Trade to Strengthen Women Producers and Marketers $50,000
CRS-Pakistan will use this grant to help artisan small businesses qualify for and achieve Fair Trade status. The grant is phase two of an on-going project to introduce and strengthen women-run entrepreneurial enterprises using Fair Trade principles.
CRS 2011 FAIR TRADE FUND RECIPIENTS 2-2-2
In this phase, 129 Afghan refugee women, who are artisans skilled in textile handcrafts, and 35 Pakistani women marketers will focus on business management skills to help grow their enterprises. Together they will produce management, marketing and financial plans along with profitability projections. The textile products created and marketed include carpets, embroidery, and cross-stitch.
“We are excited about this year’s round of awardees. They represent proposals that identify “breakthrough” approaches and will make significant contributions to strengthen the Fair Trade movement at several important levels”, said DeCarlo.
CRS’ Fair Trade Fund began in 2005 and has provided some $700,000 to projects that focus on strengthening producers outside the United States and expanding the Fair Trade marketplace here in the U.S. The overall goal is to build a fair and sustainable global movement. This year’s Fund requested proposals that specifically address critical issues in the movement and explore innovations that can be shared and replicated. The maximum grant level was $50,000.
For more information on the CRS Fair Trade Fund visit: http://www.crsfairtrade.org/2010/12/07/how-would-you-invest-50000-for-fair-trade/ 
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency provides assistance to people in need in nearly 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. For more information, please visit www.crs.org  or www.crsespanol.org . Follow us on twitter @CatholicRelief @CRSNews.
CONTACT: Susan Walters
Catholic Relief Services