In This Issue

Our Newest Cooperating Certifier

The Egyptian Center of Organic Agriculture
We welcome The Egyptian Center of Organic Agriculture (ECOA) as our newest cooperating certifier. As a leading certification agency in Egypt with a wide portfolio of certification services, we are sure that the addition of ECOA will be a valuable addition to our existing group of certifiers and enhance our global presence. This addition emphasizes our efforts of establishing FairTSA as one of the preeminent Fair Trade certification programs on a world-wide scale.
Quick Links to Cooperating Certifiers 


Biocert International 


Control Union


 Mayacert, S.A.


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Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance
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Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

The FairTSA team wishes you happiness, health, and peace, wherever you are, and whatever you celebrate in this season of Holidays.
The Importance of Including Agricultural and Factory Workers in Fair Trade Programs
Historically, the Fair Trade movement started  with coffee.  Those of us old  enough will remember the "Nica" coffee sold in front of churches and in "Third World Shops". As coffee was the main product that was sold under Fair Trade conditions, it made a lot of sense to concentrate on the small farmers that grow the coffee, considering that about 80% of the world-wide coffee harvest is done by small farmers.

With the evolution of Fair Trade into a host of additional agricultural products, more than ever there are farm workers and workers in processing facilities involved in the production of Fair Trade products. Among these workers, the contract workers in processing facilities and the migrant workers on cooperatives and other agricultural enterprises are the ones that are most disadvantaged.  While small farmers do have at least a small plot of land that can sustain them, albeit on a marginal level, migrant workers or workers in processing facilities have basically nothing to fall back on. In some cases minimum wages are far too low to enable them and their families a halfway decent living.

Therefore, FairTSA is working on two additional approaches to improve the lot of these workers.  Firstly, finding out where the minimum wage is too low for even a basic living wage and negotiate with farm and facility owners to secure a higher wage. Secondly, to include as many farm and factory workers as possible in the community development project.

The latter can take on many shapes and forms, from including the children of factory workers in a scholarship program in the Philippines, to improving basic healthcare for factory workers in Sri Lanka, to securing proper working papers for undocumented workers of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. We are sure there will be many more projects of this and similar nature to come.

We will reflect this renewed focus on workers' living conditions in the new standard version 4.0 that is to be published on January 1, 2017. We will invite all of you to comment on the draft of the standard in the coming months and hope for insights and considerations on your part for the continuous improvement of the FairTSA Fair Trade Program.
FairTSA is delighted to be partnered with Clarke's Organics, a coconut producer based in the Dominican Republic. Founded four years ago by Daniel Dalet, this family owned business is a brand new industry in the DR, and one of the premier producers of virgin coconut oil (VCO) in North and South America. Clarke's Organics owns one of our licensees -SoloCoco, based in Miami, FL. These two companies, founded and owned by the same people, ensures nothing less than a top quality production process from growing the coconuts to the finished product-100% organic, unrefined coconut oil.

After researching the best approach to produce top quality oil, Clarke's Organics adopted a process called Direct Micro Expelling (DME) from its inventor, Dr. Dan Etherington, of Kokonut Pacific, Australia. (Also one of FairTSA's producers.) This process preserves the freshness of the oil and leaves a minimal carbon footprint.

Apart from their high quality VCO, Clarke's Organics is committed to supporting their employees, mostly single mothers, through various Social Development Programs. Clarke's Organics is a haven for these mothers, living in a very impoverished area. These extremely hard-working women are very dedicated and proud of their work. 

Clarke's-2 Women working
Drying specialists gently work the meal until it is ready
 to be  pressed into delicious DME oil.

The Social Development Programs include:
1. The development of a Copay Fund. This fund is being set up to cover the expenses of medical visits and procedures not covered by health insurance.

2. The development of School Supplies. This fund will cover the out-of-pocket expenses for sending their children to school, i.e. uniforms, notebooks, shoes, etc.

3. The creation of an English Enrichment Center. The third item on the list is longer term as it requires s more funding, but it is all about giving the children of our workers a more significant advantage in life by teaching them English and enhancing their education. This will be free for both our workers and their children.

Clarke's Organics is a stellar example as an employer and their business model of just and fair trading practices.
 visitingVisiting Our European Partners 
One of the most rewarding parts of working in the Fair Trade arena is collaborating with equally committed partners both in the countries of the global North and South. After a trip to the Philippines in April, Executive Director Winfried Fuchshofen visited our licensing partners in Europe this past October. This time, he spent a few days close to London with our partners at Lucy Bee, a young and remarkable family-run company that is firmly committed to buying and selling healthy organic Fair Trade foods. The success of the company is based on nimbly and swiftly marketing their products and sharing their commitment on social media, which has resulted in several ten thousands of devoted followers. With this came many product-related questions. Therefore, Lucy Bee employees asked Winfried for an interview, which is now available for viewing on their website. Here is a short video clip of this session.
One of the most surprising questions was about the use of monkeys in coconut production, which of course is not allowed under our standard. However, when Winfried stayed in the Philippines for 6 months in 1988 he saw monkeys harvesting coconuts. Monkeys of course love climbing coconut trees and seem to take special pleasure in throwing the coconuts on the ground. The problem is not the harvest itself, rather it is the way they are kept between the harvesting stints in cages or on short ropes with basically no way for the animals to roam free and exhibit their normal behavior in the wild.
The next visit was to Voelkel Juice, another family owned company whose shares are now held by a foundation created by the owner family. While commitment and dedication to healthy organic and Fair Trade production is equally strong, the challenges are very different. The amazing product portfolio that Voelkel carries requires many ingredients, from domestic to European origin and of course tropical ingredients as well.
Stephan Voelkel tasting pomegranate with
 his partners at GÅ‘knur

For this situation we have created a "unified" Fair Trade standard that requires domestic products to be certified under a domestic Fair Trade program, ingred-ients from European origin to be certified under a special Fair Trade certification program geared mostly to benefit migrant workers, and the basic Fair Trade conditions for products from the global South. Especially with regard to ingredients sourced from southern Europe, where the probability of employing migrant workers in agriculture is high, this seems to be the most appropriate way to label products as "Fair Trade" and do this with a good conscience.

Kudos to our European partners Voelkel, Lucy Bee and their 
employees for their commitment and hard work to create 
a more just and verdant world!

 Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance

PO Box 791

New Lebanon, NY 12125