Five-year campaign concludes with record philanthropic contributions to empower businesses and consumers, identify new opportunities to expand the impact of fair trade, and improve the lives farmers, factory workers, and fishermen around the world.
Submitted by Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of fair trade products in North America, has announced the successful conclusion of its first-ever Capital Campaign, which raised $25 million to launch new fair trade products, reach new producer communities, and channel millions of dollars in cumulative additional income to farmers, workers, and fishermen.
The Fair Trade USA Capital Campaign provided funding to:
“Thanks to the generous philanthropic support we’ve received for our Capital Campaign from donors big and small, we have been able to make critical investments in people, product and technology,” said Paul Rice, Founder and CEO of Fair Trade USA. “We can confidently say that the future is brighter for millions of producers worldwide, but it feels like we are just getting started.”
Rice continued: “Fair Trade USA aims to certify millions more farms, factories and fisheries, partner with more companies, build broad consumer demand, and change more lives. To realize this ambitious goal, the non-profit will continue to innovate, iterate and invest where it matters to make the model even more impactful for everyone — producers, brands, retailers, and consumers.”
The largest contribution to the campaign was an initial $10 million matching grant from Bob and Christine Stiller, followed by another $1 million from them later in the campaign. Additionally, The Rockefeller Foundation made a $2 million investment to help launch Fair Trade USA’s seafood program. Generous gifts were also given by Ron Rankin, The Blue Haven Initiative and the Cordes Foundation. Fair Trade USA’s growth depends on philanthropic support and strategic partnerships from foundations, corporations, and generous individuals.
“To me fair trade has always meant better coffee for a better world, and I knew it had great potential to grow into something bigger with much more significant reach and impact,” said Bob Stiller, Co-Founder of Green Mountain Coffee. “Structuring our donation as a matching grant was a challenge not only to the organization, but also to other donors and investors out there looking for a tangible way to shift sustainable trade from niche to norm.”
A report detailing the results of the campaign, including highlights by initiative, can be found here."¯ \\
About Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA® is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified™ seal on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains. Rather than creating dependency on aid, Fair Trade USA’s model empowers farmers, workers, and fishermen to fight poverty and earn additional money to improve their communities. Winner of Fast Company’s Social Enterprise of the Year Award and recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation, and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also helps brands and retailers tell their stories of impact and educates consumers about the power of their purchase.
Fair Trade USA (previously TransFair USA), a nonprofit organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee 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 educates consumers, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the Fair Trade system, and provides farming communities with tools, training and resources to thrive as international businesspeople. Visit http://www.fairtradeusa.org for more information.
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