December 2016
Food for Thought and Thought for Food

Letter from the National Coordinator
Dear Members and Supporters,

I cannot believe a full year flew by so quickly! 2016 was a year of reflection, planning, and strategizing for the DFTA.  Throughout my first year with the organization, I have spoken with farmworkers, family-scale farmers, retailers, businesses, and advocates about what we need to do as a member-driven organization to realize our vision of an agricultural supply chain that is grounded in health, justice, and sustainability. 

Our members told me that we need to do more to explain domestic fair trade to the wider public, uplift the advocacy and organizing campaigns of our farmworker, farmer, and non-profit members, highlight our brands and business members who are already emphasizing fairness and sustainability in their supply chains, and maintain the integrity of domestic fair trade.      

Next year we intend to put what we've heard into action and move closer to our goal of a fairer and more sustainable agricultural supply chain.

Before we do that though, it's important to highlight some of the amazing achievements we've had this year:
  • Public Comments to FTUSA and Fair for Life Standard Revisions: The DFTA convened a group of stakeholders to review the proposed revised standards for both Fair Trade USA and Fair for Life.  These comments help ensure that certifications are continually improving their standards, especially as more begin to certify in the United States and Canada.
  • Real Food Platform: We helped to craft the Fair and Competitive Markets plank of the HEAL Food Alliance Real Food Platform.  This platform will serve as a unifying call to action and a political compass for transformation in our food system.
  • 2016 National Domestic Fair Trade Conference: We planned a conference this past December in Portland, Oregon filled with domestic fair trade tours, 11 workshops and panel sessions, distinguished speakers, and of course, our DFTA membership meeting. 
  • 1st Annual Domestic Fair Trade Award to Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ): The DFTA gave our first annual award to an independent farmworker union in Burlington, WA that historically won a union after a three year fight for fairness on berry farms.    
  • Strategic Planning: A committee of dedicated DFTA members worked throughout the year to create a concrete strategic planning document to guide the work of the organization forward for the next 3 years.  
Getting to know everyone in this organization over this past year has been such a privilege. I look forward to continuing our work together in 2017.  Till next year!  


Erika A. Inwald
National Coordinator

P.S. It's your last chance to support the DFTA in 2016! Donate today to help us work toward a healthy, just, and sustainable agricultural supply chain.
2016 National Domestic Fair Trade Conference: Fair Trade and Racial Justice in Our Agricultural System
Over 70 people came together from multiple countries and states to discuss race and fair trade in our agricultural system. We heard from over 30 speakers about topics ranging from the conditions, rights, and campaigns of food systems workers to ethical cannabis. Domestic fair trade advocates from all across the agricultural supply chain came together to educate, learn, and engage with each other.

Weren't able to make it?  Learn more about our event by looking at the full conference program.  


Stay Tuned for More Info on Next Year's Annual Gathering!

Sneak Peak: 2017 DFTA Committees 
Based on our proposed strategic planning document, we have identified four committees to carry out our plan in 2017.  More details to come in the new year!  If you're interested in joining a committee, please email [email protected].

Promotional Committee
Our members have recognized that not enough people understand the meaning of domestic fair trade and the extent of exploitation that exists in our agricultural supply chain.  This committee will be tasked with planning events with retailers and creating educational materials to communicate to a broader public about which organizing and advocacy campaigns they should be aware of and about which brands are doing it right.

Annual Meeting Planning Committee
Our annual gathering is a crucial time for our members and others active in related movements to come together to learn, strategize, and network.  Join this committee to play an integral role in shaping our meeting. 

Membership Outreach Committee
If we are going to build a movement for a fair and environmentally sustainable agricultural supply chain from farmworker to retailer, we need more members! This committee will work on conducting member outreach and standardizing our membership process.   

Research Advisory Committee
To grow our movement we need to advocate for policy that supports labor rights and environmental sustainability as well as increase the prevalence of domestic fair trade supply chains.  One way to increase domestic fair trade practices is to help expand the market for domestic fair trade products by examining consumer purchasing preferences and awareness of domestic fair trade.  Join this committee to help shape our research agenda!   
Last Chance to Support the DFTA in 2016!
The DFTA works toward an agricultural supply chain where every sector is equal and every aspect of the food system is as fair and environmentally sustainable as possible.  This vision requires radical structural change that will only be funded by those who truly wish to see equity in our food system.  Join us in realizing this vision by donating to the DFTA today. Give now via PayPal  to help move our work forward in the new year!

Photo Credit: Food Chain Workers Alliance/Joann Lo