In This Issue...
Works to Create Connections
LFTN and the Agricultural Justice Project Partner in the Creation of a Domestic Fair Trade Label
LFTN Helps Organize First Farm Worker Conference on Fair Trade
Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference
It's an exciting time for the Local Fair Trade Network. We've been in greater contact with the rest of the domestic Fair Trade movement, leading to some changes in strategy and a re-focusing on our essential: bringing people together to create Fair Trade. This summer LFTN hosted a visit by the Agricultural Justice Project (AJP), the group that has put together the draft of standards for domestic fair trade that we based our Pledge on. The AJP are working with two of our member co-ops and several farmers in a pilot project towards a certified domestic fair trade label. Because AJP now plans to have certified products from these farms in stores in 2007, we agreed to suspend our own labeling project and instead focus on growing participation in the Fair Trade system from people in our region, including providing support for AJP's pilot project. Read more about LFTN's plans...
In the Summer of 2006, the Local Fair Trade Network (LFTN) and the Agricultural Justice Project (AJP) agreed to join forces in the creation of a Domestic Fair Trade label. Two co-ops and five farms in the Upper Midwest will serve as the subjects of a pilot project that will develop a certification process for the standards developed by AJP, as well as refine those standards. The goal of the pilot project is to have certified Fair Trade products from those farms in co-ops during the growing season of 2007. LFTN and AJP are seeking input on the standards, how the label should be marketed, as well as the governance of the Domestic Fair Trade system. Learn more about this pilot label project...
LFTN is proud to be part of a working group organizing North America's first meeting of farm worker groups on the topic of Fair Trade. The conference is tentatively set to take place in April 2007 in Owatonna, MN, home of Centro Campesino, the Upper Midwest's only farm worker-run organization. The idea for the conference arose at the Domestic Fair Trade Working Group meeting in La Farge, WI, last August. This was the first major meeting of the Domestic Fair Trade movement to include participation by multiple farm worker groups. While the farm worker representatives saw the incredible potential of a Fair Trade system to improve their members' lives, they felt that they needed to consult with their members and broaden the participation of organizations in order to be truly equal partners.Learn more about this upcoming conference...
Midwest Organic Farming Conference
La Crosse, Wisconsin February 22-24, 2007
The Upper Midwest Organic Farming Conference is our region's premier event for education and networking in the sustainable agriculture community. Join us for two discussions...
The Potential of Domestic Fair Trade
Saturday, February 24, 2007 4:00 pm
The Fair Trade system created for imported goods has improved the lives of participating farmers. Local Fair Trade Network's Erik Esse, the Agricultural Justice Project's Michael Sligh, and Riverbend Farm's Greg Reynolds will examine the efforts to learn from this experience to improve the lives of US farmers and farm workers by creating a domestic Fair Trade system.
We are interested in meeting with farmers, retailers and distributors on the issue of transportation. We want to explore creating cooperative arrangements that will reduce transportation costs and fossil fuel use for all concerned. If you would like to take part in this discussion, contact us.
Phone: (612) 879-7560