Submitted by Fair Trade USA
NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2006 - For the third year in a row, TransFair USA - the only third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States - was named a Social Capitalist Award winner by Fast Company magazine and the Monitor Group. TransFair USA is one of forty-three non-profits honored for creative business solutions to the most challenging social problems today. The winners are featured in Fast Company's Dec/Jan. 2007 issue, on newsstands Nov. 21, and will be recognized at a ceremony in New York City on Jan. 9. TransFair USA CEO and President Paul Rice is featured on the cover.
The Fast Company/Monitor Social Capitalist Awards program measures a non-profit'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 and farm workers in developing countries by way of its Fair Trade certification program - receives this award during a period of continued growth. Fair Trade Certified coffee is the fastest-growing segment of the $11 billion U.S. specialty coffee market, more than doubling in the last two years, indicating rapid growth in consumer awareness and demand for sustainable products nationwide. Fair Trade is increasingly recognized as the gold standard of social, economic and environmental certification, and TransFair's pioneering approach is rapidly mainstreaming Fair Trade Certified products nationwide.
"Today, sales of Fair Trade Certified products are growing faster than ever, from local cafes and markets, to major national chains," said Paul Rice, CEO and Founder of TransFair USA. "This award is for all of the businesses and consumers who work to make the Fair Trade model successful, and proof that being a responsible global citizen is the first step of any successful enterprise."
More and more, business-minded social entrepreneurs are helping to shape a new version of capitalism--one that melds financial success with social responsibility. This year, Fast Company and Monitor Group have put numbers to this trend, assessing and honoring organizations among the Social Capitalist Award winners that demonstrate excellence in creating and sustaining partnerships with for-profit companies. Through these deals, social entrepreneurs and businesses are raising the stakes, creating both business and social impact.
"Our Social Capitalist Awards winners have forged partnerships that blur commerce and charity, challenging our assumptions about making a profit and making a difference," said Mark Vamos, editor of Fast Company. "Their alliances help big business bring conscience to commerce, changing old-style capitalism as we know it."
Since 1999, TransFair USA has certified nearly 200 million pounds of coffee, cocoa, tea, herbs, rice, sugar, vanilla, bananas, mangoes, pineapples and grapes - channeling about $85 million in additional, above-market revenue to producers in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Fair Trade funds sustainable local development projects--health systems, scholarships, women's leadership initiatives, microfinance programs and others--that benefit an estimated 5 million people in over 50 countries throughout the developing world. TransFair USA facilitates direct, long-term market linkages for Fair Trade producers, and does so efficiently - for every $1 TransFair USA spends, $7 of above-market revenue is generated for Fair Trade communities, an unprecedented rate of return on social investment. TransFair's Global Producer Services initiative - established in December of last year - invests in producer development projects, including quality-improvement training, organic conversion, access to finance, and building operational and financial management capacity.
Fair Trade is an innovative, market-based approach to sustainable development that helps small-scale farmers and farm workers in developing countries gain direct access to international markets. Fair Trade Certified products support a better life for farming families in the developing world through fair prices, direct trade, community development and environmental stewardship. Fair Trade farmers market their own harvests through direct, long-term contracts with international buyers, learning how to compete in the global marketplace. This empowerment lifts farming families from poverty through trade, not aid, keeping food on the table, children in school and families on their land.
TransFair USA currently licenses around 600 U.S. companies to sell Fair Trade Certified products in nearly 40,000 retail locations nationwide, including supermarkets, club stores, cafés, restaurants, specialty food stores, college campuses and faith-based organizations.
Investor's Guide to Giving
Fast Company partners with the Monitor Group, a global strategy-consulting firm, to select award winners. Monitor Group created the methodology used to compare non-profits of different sizes and ages across social sectors.
The Monitor Group manages the evaluation process for the awards program and measures each organization's work in five categories: social impact, entrepreneurship, innovation, aspiration and growth and sustainability.
"Prior to the Social Capitalist Awards, no ranking process or 'seal of approval' existed as an authoritative standard for achievement among social entrepreneurs," said Mark Fuller, chairman and CEO of Monitor Group. "Our evaluation measures the impact and effectiveness of these non-profits, making it, among other things, an ideal investor's guide for those who want their charitable dollars to get the highest 'social' return possible."
Nominees were evaluated based on an application that included two years of operating and financial data, a statement of mission and objectives, and answers to a survey to assess strategy and activities. Winners were selected by an independent board.
2007 Social Capitalist Awards winners:
ACCION International (Boston, Mass.) - Trains banks around the world to be microfinance partners, making small loans to help impoverished people start their own businesses.
Grameen Foundation USA (Washington D.C.) - Creates a chain reaction of lending between large banks, 52 microfinance partners, and poverty-stricken individuals starting businesses.
Unitus Inc. (Redmond, Wash.) - Helps micro-finance institutions grow and become commercially sustainable by providing financial support and consulting services.
Legal Advocacy/Human Rights
A Fighting Chance (New Orleans, La.) Â¬- Provides staff investigators to indigent defendants in high-profile cases most likely to result in death sentences.
PeaceWorks Network Foundation (New York, N.Y.) Â¬- Via workshops, town hall meetings, and college tours, emphasizes tolerance and co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians.
TransFair USA (Oakland, Calif.) Â¬- Certifies fair trade products from the developing world, then connects certified growers with U.S businesses, ensuring sustainable farming and equitable trade.
WITNESS (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Â¬- Trains human rights organizations to document abuses on camera and to use the video in advocacy campaigns.
Working Today (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Â¬- A sort of union for independent workers, offering members low-cost health, life and disability insurance.
Aspire Public Schools, (Oakland, Calif.) Â¬- Builds and operates small public charter schools in under-served neighborhoods, with a curriculum that reinforces the possibility of college for all students.
BELL (Dorchester, Mass.) - Provides after-school and summer tutoring for underperforming, low-income elementary students.
Citizen Schools (Boston, Mass.) - Recruits over 2,000 professionals to provide after-school "apprenticeships" to low-income middle school students.
Civic Builders Inc. (New York, N.Y.) - Develops affordable charter schools in New York City's poorest neighborhoods, including the first, last summer, under a massive new city initiative.
Civic Ventures/Experience Corps (San Francisco, Calif. and Washington, D.C.) - Engages 2,000 people over the age of 55 who serve as tutors and mentors in underserved public schools in 19 cities.
College Summit (Washington D.C.) - Raises college enrollment among low-income students by training youth who are applying for college to help others with applications.
First Book (Washington D.C.) - Through 13,000 literacy programs, its National Book Bank gives children from low-income families new books that publishers would otherwise toss away.
Jumpstart (Boston, Mass.) - Recruits college students to increase the number of adults working in preschools and improve early education in low-income communities.
New Leaders for New Schools (New York, N.Y.) - Trains and places principals and administrators to work in troubled urban schools.
Raising a Reader (Menlo Park, Calif.) Â¬- Fosters healthy brain development, parent-child bonding and early literacy by engaging parents in daily read-aloud with their children.
Room to Read (San Francisco, Calif.) - Builds schools and libraries in seven countries.
SEED Foundation (Washington, D.C.) Â¬- The world's only public urban prep and boarding school.
Teach for America (New York, N.Y.) - Recruits top college graduates to teach at troubled rural and urban schools.
Calvert Social Investment Foundation (Bethesda, Md.) - Connects financial markets to social markets by raising capital from private and institutional investors, then lending it to over 200 socially oriented organizations.
DonorsChoose (New York, N.Y.) - Links donors with public school projects in need of funding.
Endeavor Global (New York, N.Y.) - Helps entrepreneurs across Africa and Latin America build and fund successful businesses.
Global Fund for Women (San Francisco, Calif.) - Makes grants of $500 to $100,000 to women-led organizations advancing women's human rights.
Nonprofit Finance Fund (New York, N.Y.) - Provides individualized financial planning and analysis, asset-building programs, and loans of up to $2 million to non-profits.
Ceres Inc. (Boston, Mass.) Â¬- Forged a network of 70 companies committed to publishing sustainability reports and improving environmental and social performance.
RARE (Arlington, Va.) - In more than 40 countries, protects wild lands from destruction through social action projects and ecotourism programs.
City Year (Boston, Mass.) Â¬- Recruits and trains young adults for a year of full-time civic service in 17 U.S. sites and one in South Africa.
Hands On Network (Atlanta, Ga.) - Links national corporations and local nonprofits to fuel volunteer efforts in community service projects.
EcoLogic Finance, Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.) Â¬- Provides affordable credit and financial education to cash-strapped coffee growers in developing countries.
Heifer International (Little Rock, Ark.) - Supplies livestock and training to help farmers in 50 poor countries thrive.
KickStart (San Francisco, Calif.) - Fights poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by selling low-cost irrigation pumps that dramatically raise farmers' crop yields and incomes.
New Community Corporation (Newark, N.J.) - Broad-based community program that has helped more than 5,000 Newark residents find jobs and get off welfare.
Pioneer Human Services (Seattle, Wash.) - Through 10 enterprises, employs people on the margins of society, such as ex-offenders, addicts and the homeless.
Rubicon Programs (Richmond, Calif.) Â¬- Uses profits from a gourmet bakery and landscaping business to fund programs for poor, homeless, and/or addicted Bay Area residents.
PATH (Seattle, Wash.) - Creates and distributes low-cost healthcare solutions, in one instance partnering with WHO and UNICEF to vaccinate 12 million people in India and Nepal against Japanese Encephalitis.
Population Services International (Washington, D.C.) - Works with donors to subsidize products and services that drastically reduce HIV infections, unintended pregnancies, child deaths and malaria episodes in developing countries.
Scojo Foundation (New York, N.Y.) - Provides eye-exams and reading glasses to people in developing nations.
Springboard Forward (Mountain View, Calif.) Â¬- Helps low-wage workers move into higher-paying jobs and become more productive members of society, breaking a vicious cycle of poverty.
Year Up (Boston, Mass.) Â¬- Trains urban youth in Web design and help-desk support, then places them in jobs.
Corporation for Supportive Housing (Oakland, Calif.) - Provides loans, grants and expertise to developers of affordable homes with services targeting the poor, ill and addicted.
Housing Partnership Network (Boston, Mass.) - Through 87 nonprofit housing organizations, builds affordable homes and acquires properties for development for low-income families.
Complete descriptions of the Social Capitalist Awards winners are available on www.fastcompany.com.
About TransFair USA
TransFair USA, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, is one of twenty members of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), and the only independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. TransFair USA 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 workers behind Fair Trade Certified goods were paid fair, above-market prices and fair wages. FLO annually inspects producer organizations to ensure that strict socioeconomic development criteria is met using increased Fair Trade revenue, in addition to sustainable farm management, environmental stewardship and democratic decision making. For more information visit www.transfairusa.org.
About Fast Company and Monitor Group
Fast Company, founded in 1996, is a magazine for and about the creative class. It is a journal of change and changemakers -- 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 http://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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