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Paul Rice: Fair Trade Certified- The New Standard of Quality

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Fair Trade is an innovative, market-based model for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. It empowers conscious consumers while rewarding U.S. companies as well as developing world farmers who comply with rigorous social and environmental standards.

Since launching the Fair Trade Certified™ label in 1998, Fair Trade USA has established Fair Trade as one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. food industry. To date, Fair Trade USA has developed business partnerships with over 800 U.S. companies, including many industry leaders. Fair Trade USA now certifies coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, fresh fruit, wine, and flowers, launching certified cotton and apparel in 2010.  U.S. retail sales of Fair Trade products in 2009 surpassed $1.2 billion.

As a result, between 1999 and 2009, low-income family farmers earned over $200 million in additional income selling to the U.S. Fair Trade market, allowing them to keep their kids in school, care for the land and dramatically improve their living standards.

Many producers invest their Fair Trade premium funds in organic certification, which has led to outstanding results: nearly half (47%) of all Fair Trade products in the United States are also certified organic.  The Fair Trade certification actually supports the organic certification model because when people are working in a healthy, productive environment, there is job security, growth and constant productivity. Together, Fair Trade Certification and Organic Certification are making great strides in environmental protection and stewardship.

In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, host, June Stoyer will speak to Paul Rice, President & CEO of Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States. Stay tuned!

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