For more than sixty years, hundreds of organizations allied with conscious consumers across the United States and the world have actively supported a different approach to trade based on dialogue, transparency and respect, in order to create greater equity in the international economic system. We call it Fair Trade.
One organization, TransFair USA, is currently in the process of changing its name to “Fair Trade USA” and has applied for the name to be trademarked. Such an umbrella phrase attempts to legally claim, as an exclusive brand, a term that encompasses this broad movement far beyond its specific work. This outrageous move is the ethical equivalent of an organization or business trying to get a monopoly patent on the word “Organic.”
As a consumer organization dedicated to building equitable markets for disadvantaged farmers and artisans through Fair Trade and organic certification, we believe that the term “Fair Trade” should be celebrated as a movement, not a brand claimed by any one organization.
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