Advocates for environmental sustainability would all agree that long-term solutions are going to require changes in consumer behavior. But even the most conscientious consumers sometimes find themselves stumped by confusing labeling and policies that get in the way. Our two guests this week on Sea Change Radio are each trying to make it easier to be a responsible consumer. First we will hear from Rodney North of Equal Exchange, the first organization that promoted socially responsible goods as “fair trade.” He provides the background and discusses some of the controversies around fair trade labeling of goods. Next, host Alex Wise talks with the Sierra Club’s Evan Gillespie, who’s leading a campaign to push for energy reform in California, including a solar bill of rights.
Articles Tagged ‘ Fair Trade ’
Longtime shareowner activist Steve Viederman discusses the notion of community governance, where communities reclaim democratic power of self-determination from corporations and other external forces. Exemplifying community governance is the Fair Trade Towns movement, where communities commit to supporting Fair Trade commodities such as coffee and cocoa. Click to continue reading and listen to the show…
Today we measure the speed of money. Woody Tasch discusses his book, Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered. And Katy Lederer transforms her experience working in the fast money culture of Wall Street into poetry in the book , The Heaven-Sent Leaf. Click to continue reading and listen to the show…
WorldBlu recently announced its first list of the Most Democratic Workplaces. Bill Baue speaks with Rodney North, whose official title is The Answer Man at Equal Exchange, the oldest and largest for-profit Fair Trade company in the US. Equal Exchange was one of four worker-owned cooperatives and one of 34 organizations in all to win the award. The discussion addresses democracy in the corporate workplace and in the capitalist system more broadly speaking, transforming it into a more cooperative economy.
Seth Petchers, Oxfam International’s Make Trade Fair campaign coffee lead, discusses how Starbucks opposes Ethiopia’s bid to trademark its renowned regional coffee names–Sidamo, Harrar, and Yirgacheffe.
Dean Cycon, founder of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company, discusses problems with the trademarking solution, and how appellation (the system by which regional wines such as Champagne and Bordeaux protect their exclusivity) represents a better solution in his mind. He also discusses Fair Trade as an important part of the solution, while also identifying limitations of Fair Trade in achieving truly ethical and sustainable trade.