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Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance
 collaborative excellence and accountability
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am writing from my office in upstate New York during a hot and humid stretch of summer. Sometimes it almost feels like the rain forest in Mindanao, Philippines, with humidity close to 100%. Usually the summer is a bit of a quieter time for us, but not so this year. This is primarily due to our attendance at the Fancy Food Show in New York City at the end of June, and, of course to our overall growth.

Farmers and producers, please note the change of address of our producer resources web page: Here you can find a wealth of useful documents for download. Also, please check our website for free producer seminars in English and Spanish, which we will offer approximately eight times per year.

As a new initiative, Loreto, Jake and I have started a routine of checking in with existing certified producers and licensed buyers once or twice a year. We want to know how we can serve you better, inform you about our activities and possibly help you source Fair Trade ingredients or find new buyers. So far we have received good responses and it seems that this will strengthen our cooperation.

Please remember to forward this newsletter to interested staff members, potential producers, buyers and licensees. This is a great way to spread the word and to promote this program.

Winfried Fuchshofen
For the FairTSA Team
   Fancy Food Show 2016 in New York City
From left to right: Jake Makin, Loreto Messina, Winfried Fuchshofen, Eileen Quinn & Board Chair John Tremblay
As the Fancy Food Show has  grown into a veritable power house of specialty national and international foods, FairTSA attended the show with four staff and two members of our Board of Directors. The FairTSA "show of force" resulted in many new prospective clients, both on the producer and buyer side.

The domestic version of our Fair Trade program met interest from several farmers and a start-up domestic tea company. On the international side, the interest spanned from baobab powder producers in Senegal, chocolate makers in Ecuador, tea producers in India and Sri Lanka, and a very exciting indigenous Basmati rice project also in India, were among the prospects.  

Meeting with our Lotus Foods partners 
Of course we also met with existing producer and licensee partners in attendance such as Edward & Sons, Celebes Coconut Co. and Lotus Foods.

The follow up conversations - informing, coaching, and negotiating - are keeping us busy this summer and ensure our sustained growth and acceptance of our Fair Trade program on a global level.

Clarke's Organics is a family business created over four years ago on the North coast of the Dominican Republic (DR) in a small town called Miches. Cousins Daniel and Abel Dalet decided to focus on agricultural business after a decade in the financial industry, and thus began Clarke's Organics. At the same time they founded SoloCoco, their own brand for coconut-based products.

Clarke's 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 is a sustainable process powered by biomass that allows for uniform quality control due to Clarke's small scale operation. It results in a product with a long shelf life and superior flavor. Clarke's commitment to DME has created a great opportunity for single mothers seeking work in the local community.

In hiring workers to be trained, Clarke's reached out to single women who are heads of households with no advanced education, some currently not proficient in reading or writing. The average citizen of the DR lives at or below the poverty line, with little education or technical training. The Dalet cousins want their company to be a harbor of opportunity for their workers, where only willingness to learn and hard work is required. 

Supporting a single mother workforce was a founding pillar of the business, and now with FairTSA Fair Trade funding Clarke's Organics looks to the future beyond their fundamental social responsibility, to more ambitious and enriching projects for their community. Future Community Development projects with FairTSA include the creation of a copay fund to help cover medical expenses not covered by health insurance, a fund for school supplies and the costs of sending the workers children to school. Their long-term objective is to have an English Enrichment Center to give children the advantage through their own community to congregate and study.

Recently, Clarke's Organics has been awarded the Babson College Social Innovation Award in recognition of their efforts to employ single women in a region where decent paying jobs are practically non-existent. You can view the 1 minute video of the award ceremony  here.

In addition to its more traditional coconut products, SoloCoco has launched its coconut-based organic and Fair Trade certified cosmetics line, which is currently distributed in the Northeastern United States.

Photo on right: Daniel and Gaby Dalet's presentation of their Fair Trade Virgin Organic Coconut Oil at a Whole Foods Market store in Boston, MA, was a huge success. They told their story, informed customers about the multiple uses of coconut oil, and offered coffee samples with coconut cream.

 Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance

PO Box 791

New Lebanon, NY 12125