Co-operating for Fair Trade
Planet Bean Baristas Ryan, Dan (worker owner) and Emma (worker owner)
SaskCentral Credit Union passed a Fair Trade Resolution on April 13th, 2011 with a 91% majority! Long-time Fair Traders Just Us! Coffee Roasters and La Siembra Co-operative (makers of Camino) recently passed resolutions of their own too.
We'll add them all to the list, along with the Planet Bean, the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF). Is your co-op also passing a resolution? Let us know! Write to us at communicationsfairtrade [dot] ca.
This campaign is for co-ops and credit unions across Canada who want to either (a) get involved in Fair Trade or (b) deepen their support for, and commitment to, Fair Trade.
Here’s what it’s all about:
There is a natural affinity between co-operatives and Fair Trade; in many ways, support for Fair Trade is an extension of the Principles of Co-operation which guide the co-op movement. Fairtrade Canada, the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA), the Conseil Canadian de la coopération et de la mutualité (CCCM) and Équiterre have launched a campaign aimed at generating greater awareness of Fair Trade within the co-op sector. The goal of the campaign is to have at least 100 Canadian co-ops, credit unions, and co-operative apex organizations adopt a resolution committing to supporting and promoting Fair Trade by December 2011 - in time for the International Year of Co-operatives in 2012.
Click here to download our Action Guide and find out how your co-op or credit union can get involved. This Action Guide will tell you more about passing a resolution, as well as all of the other ways that you take action.
Many of the products we purchase come from some of the world’s poorest countries, where farmers, artisans and factory workers live in conditions of extreme poverty and hardship.
|Photo: Eric St-Pierre|
Fair Trade seeks to change the terms of trade for the products we buy - to ensure that the people behind those products get a better deal. This includes fair prices, social and economic premiums, fair and safe labour, environmental sustainability, access to credit, and long-term contracts for producers. In Canada, Fairtrade Canada, a national, nonprofit Fair Trade certification organization is responsible for ensuring that products bearing a Fairtrade mark meet international Fairtrade standards.
The co-operative movement has its roots in the quest for fairness. In Canada, co-ops first developed when farmers banded together to get a better deal in processing or marketing their products; when consumers looked for a community-based alternative to the company store; and when low-income people formed credit unions because they couldn’t get loans from commercial banks. In developing countries, the majority of Fair Trade producers are members of co-operatives, and co-ops provide a support network for small farmers and rural communities.
As a result, there is a natural affinity between co-operatives and Fair Trade, and support for Fair Trade is an extension of the Principles of Co-operation which guide the co-op movement. And many Canadian co-operatives are already actively engaged in Fair Trade. Click here to read more.
At its 2010 Annual General Meeting, CCA members passed a resolution calling for the co-op sector to promote Fair Trade through procurement policies, investment, overseas support of Fair Trade co-operatives and support for Canadian co-operatives involved in Fair Trade.
Let us know what your co-op is doing to support and promote Fair Trade. Please contact either TransFair Canada or the Canadian Co-operative Association to tell us what you’re up to. We’ll also be profiling how organizations are involved on our website, so keep us up to date on your activities.
communicationsfairtrade [dot] ca
|Canadian Co-operative Association:
Contact: Donna Balkan
donna [dot] balkancoopscanada [dot] coop
Tel: 613-238-6711, ext. 206