Posted by Chris O’Brien
In the past week I’ve chatted with Carmen Iezzi, the director of the Fair Trade Federation (FTF), and Anne Riley, the director of the Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN). Having formerly served as the director of FTF and worked closely with FTRN, it was great to catch up on all their current projects.
I was particularly excited to learn from Anne about the Fair Trade Towns program because it overlaps with my work at the Responsible Purchasing Network, so Anne and I plotted a bit about how we might work together to co-produce an Responsible Purchasing Guide for fair trade to help complement our series of purchasing guides for institutional buyers with something focused on internationally traded commodities that affect low-income producers.
The Fair Trade Towns initiative helps folks who are interested in working with their local governments to ensure that Fair Trade products are specified in government contracts. A few cities have already issued Fair Trade procurement resolutions, such as San Francisco, New York City, while the little burgs of Media, PA and Brattleboro, VT have both become full-fledged Fair Trade Towns.