Domestic Fair Trade
It is well known that many small farmers have gone out of business in the USA over the last 40 years. Globalization has led to the consolidation of the power of big agribusiness firms. Indeed, food retailing is dominated by just ten corporations. Furthermore, under NAFTA (1994) commodity prices paid to farmers have decreased 40%. The food costs of U.S. consumers have, in the same period, risen over 20%.
Though “Fair Trade” has mainly been associated with international trade in tropical and sub-tropical commodities, recent years have seen new interest develop in the USA in the parallels between domestic and international Fair Trade.
The Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA) was established in 2007 as “an association of farmers, farmworkers, food workers, retailers, marketers, processors, manufacturers, and NGOs with the mission to promote and protect the integrity of Domestic Fair Trade principles through education, marketing, advocacy and endorsement.”
Among bodies associated with the DFTA are several whose names are well known to activists in the (international) Fair Trade Movement. Equal Exchange, the oldest Fair Trade coffee roaster in the USA, was one of the prime movers in establishing the DFTA. The Institute for Marketecology (“Fair for Life”) is piloting its standards in North America. The Fair World Project, Fair Trade Federation, Fair Trade Resource Network and Peace Coffee also feature on the DFTA website.
In the Mankato area, the Mankato Farmers’ Market is recognized by MAFTTI as a kindred spirit. “Buy local - buy fair” is a shared vision and point of advocacy.
In the beginning (2010) there was a table; now there is shelter
BUY LOCAL - BUY FAIR