Fair trade can play a key role in slowing climate change. In recognition of October as Fair Trade Month, National Co+op Grocers (NCG) and Fair World Project are promoting this message as they celebrate the results of their seventh annual World Fair Trade Day promotion, which took place last May.
During the two-week initiative, NCG’s participating food co-ops sold over one million dollars in products from committed fair trade brands including Alter Eco, Alaffia, Dr. Bronner’s, Divine Chocolate, Equal Exchange and more. These sales directly benefited producer communities in food co-ops’ fair trade supply chain. In addition, NCG co-ops made an $8,000 donation to Fair World Project’s Grow Ahead initiative, a grassroots effort to fund reforestation projects at Norandino Cooperative in Peru.
“When the fair trade story is told, supporters often focus on the social and economic benefits fair trade provides producers, but environmental impact is also key,” said Dana Geffner, Executive Director of Fair World Project. “The market stability that fair trade certification creates empowers farmers to invest in farming methods such as regenerative agriculture, agroforestry and tropical reforestation projects that help to slow climate change.”
Norandino Cooperative is an example of a fair trade farmer cooperative investing in climate resiliency, Geffner noted. The group of 7,000 small-scale, fair trade and organic cacao, coffee, sugar and fruit farmers in northern Peru is using the funds this fall to plant 69,000 native tree seedlings and build two plant nurseries. All part of a farmer-led reforestation project covering 136 acres. Tropical reforestation remains a powerful and well-known method of drawing carbon from the atmosphere, making Project Drawdown’s top ten list of potential climate change solutions.
“NCG was particularly happy to make a donation to Cooperative Norandino’s reforestation project as part of the promotion, because it dovetails nicely with one of our key priorities: supporting fellow cooperatives,” said Allie Mentzer, Advocacy Senior Manager for NCG. “We are also committed to encouraging our food co-ops, their customers and our industry partners to take deeper action on mitigating climate change. This promotion is a powerful demonstration of how all who are part of the natural products industry can work together on one of the most critical issues of our time.”
NCG’s donation is also part of their pledged 8,000 acts of kindness for 2018 — learn more about how co-ops across the country are working together to make the world more equitable, humane and kind with #Coops4Kindness.
About Fair World Project
Fair World Project (FWP) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the use of the term “fair trade” in the marketplace, expand markets for authentic fair trade, and educate consumers about key issues in trade and agriculture. We advocate for policies leading to a just economy and facilitate collaborative relationships to create change together.
National Co+op Grocers (NCG), founded in 1999, is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. NCG helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere. Our 146 member and associate co-ops operate more than 200 storefronts in 37 states with combined annual sales of nearly $2.1 billion. NCG is a winner of the dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence and a certified B Corp. Find a map of NCG member and associate co-ops. To learn more about co-ops, visit www.strongertogether.coop.
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Media inquiries may be directed to Eric Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org; 612-424-7545.)