Submitted by Fair Trade USA
The Fast Company/Monitor Social Capitalist Awards program measures a non-profit group's innovation and social impact, as well as the viability and sustainability of its business model. TransFair USA, commended for introducing a paradigm shift that enables globalization to work for small-scale farmers in developing countries by way of its Fair Trade certification program, receives this award during a period of continued growth. Since 1999, TransFair USA has certified over 100 million pounds of coffee, cocoa, tea, rice, sugar, bananas, mangoes, pineapples, and grapes - channeling more than $67 million in additional, above-market revenue to farmers and farm workers throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia. Fair Trade funds sustainable local development projects--health systems, scholarships, women's leadership initiatives, microfinance programs and others--in over 50 countries around the developing world, and provides over 1 million farmers with resources to invest in their businesses and their products. Fair Trade is increasingly recognized as the Gold Standard of social and environmental certification, and TransFair's pioneering approach is rapidly mainstreaming Fair Trade Certified products nationwide.
"The Social Capitalist Award winners represent a global movement of entrepreneurs who've chosen to apply their skills to the common good," said Fast Company editor Mark Vamos. "We applaud their efforts and business acumen, for being not just do-gooders dedicated to solving the world's problems, but business people of vision who have created organizations worthy of imitation in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors."
How the Winners Were Chosen
Fast Company, in partnership with the Monitor Group, chose the third annual Social Capitalist Award winners from a pool of 240 organizations, half of them nominated by a panel of prominent funders, academics and other experts, and the rest self-nominated. Each participating organization submitted to a rigorous screening process requiring financial records, business plans and online surveys. Groups were graded in five distinct categories: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Social Impact, Aspiration and Sustainability. Final grades included adjustments based on structured telephone interviews with each group's executive director, and with independent experts qualified to speak about each organization. To learn more about the Fast Company/Monitor Social Capitalist Awards, or to donate money to one of the award winners, visit www.fastcompany.com/social.
"Today, sales of Fair Trade Certified products are growing faster than ever," said Paul Rice, CEO and Founder of TransFair USA. "Fair Trade Certified coffee is the fastest growing segment of the $9 billion U.S. specialty coffee market, with an average annual increase of over 75% since its launch in 1999, indicating rapid growth in consumer awareness and demand for sustainable products. TransFair USA currently licenses over 500 U.S. companies to sell Fair Trade Certified products in nearly 35,000 retail locations nationwide, including supermarkets, cafés, restaurants, specialty food stores, college campuses and faith-based organizations. This award is for all of the businesses and consumers who work to make the Fair Trade model successful."
The other 2006 Social Capitalist Awards winners are:
Â• ACCION International (Boston, Mass.)
Â• BELL (Dorchester, Mass.)
Â• Calvert Social Investment Foundation (Bethesda, Md.)
Â• Citizen Schools (Boston, Mass.)
Â• City Year (Boston, Mass.)
Â• College Summit, Inc. (Washington, D.C.)
Â• First Book (Washington, D.C.)
Â• Grameen Foundation USA (Washington, D.C.)
Â• Heifer International (Little Rock, Ark.)
Â• Housing Partnership Network, Inc. (Boston, Mass.)
Â• Jumpstart (Boston, Mass.)
Â• New Community Corp. (Newark, N.J.)
Â• New Leaders for New Schools (New York, N.Y.)
Â• PATH (Seattle, Wash.,)
Â• Pioneer Human Services (Seattle, Wash.)
Â• Rare (Arlington, Va.)
Â• Teach for America (New York, N.Y.)
Â• Unitus (Redmond, Wash.)
Â• WITNESS (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Â• Working Today (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
For more information about the Social Capitalists Awards program, visit www.fastcompany.com.
About TransFair USA
TransFair USA, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, is one of nineteen members of Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO), and the only independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. It audits transactions between U.S. companies offering Fair Trade Certified products and the international suppliers from whom they source, in order to guarantee that the farmers and farm workers behind Fair Trade Certified goods were paid a fair, above-market price. In addition, annual inspections conducted by FLO ensure that strict socioeconomic development criteria are being met using increased Fair Trade revenues.
About Fast Company and the Monitor Group
Fast Company, founded in 1996, is a magazine for and about the creative class. It is a journal of change and change-makers -- dynamic, compelling leaders in both the for-profit and non-profit spheres who are making dramatic innovations to shape the future. Visit www.fastcompany.com for more information.
The Monitor Group is a family of professional services firms, linked by shared ownership, management philosophy, and knowledge assets. Each entity in Monitor's global network is dedicated to providing products and services that fundamentally enhance the competitiveness of its clients. Visit www.monitor.com for more information.
Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between companies and their international suppliers to ensure that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment, and receive community development funds to empower and uplift their communities. Fair Trade USA also educates consumers, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the system, and provides farming communities with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople. Visit www.FairTradeCertified.org for more information.
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