Fair Trade USA has announced a $10 million challenge gift from board member and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters founder Bob Stiller and his wife, Christine, to expand the reach and impact of Fair Trade certification for farmers and workers around the globe.
The largest gift ever to the organization will fund efforts to build the entrepreneurial capacity of farmers and workers through trainings, technical assistance programs, and technologies that support resilient supply chains and critical business management tools; strengthen the certification model by improving and clarifying standards and launching a robust impact management system that ramps up data collection and increases supply chain transparency; and increase market demand for and the availability of Fair Trade-certified products.
The one-to-one challenge also kick-starts a campaign to generate $1 billion in additional income for Fair Trade farmers and workers by 2020. To date, producers have earned $350 million in additional income through Fair Trade certification since 1998.
"Since entering the coffee industry in 1981, I've seen Fair Trade become a staple of better business for producers, companies, and consumers," said Stiller. "I'm a supporter and a champion, but I'll also be the first to say that it can do more. We're only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential impact, and I want to see Fair Trade be even more effective, reach more people, and begin shifting practices at a larger scale. That's the challenge I'm extending."