Is that fair trade-certified melon you bought at your supermarket really a fair trade product?
On its website, Fair Trade USA (FTUSA)—a U.S.-based fair trade certifier—says:
When you see a product with the Fair Trade Certified™ seal, you can be sure it was made according to rigorous social, environmental and economic standards. We work closely on the ground with producers and certify transactions between companies and their suppliers to ensure that the people making Fair Trade Certified goods work in safe conditions, protect the environment, build sustainable livelihoods and earn additional money to empower and uplift their communities.
So why is FTUSA asking consumers to support the top supplier of winter-season melons to U.S. supermarkets, even though that supplier has a long list of serious human labor rights violations?
Fair World Project (a project of OCA) is part of a broad coalition of unions, farmworkers, fair trade advocates, ethical businesses and retailers taking on FTUSA for ignoring human rights abuses and setting its own standards in certifying Suragroh, a Honduran company which is a fully-owned subsidiary of Fyffes, a multinational fruit company.