Fair Trade in the U.S.


After working for more than a decade in Central America and helping Nicaraguan coffee farmers improve their livelihoods through an organic coffee export cooperative, Paul Rice founded FairTrade USA (also known as TransFair USA) in 1998 to bring the fair trade movement to the United States. FairTrade USA promotes a market model that guarantees small-family agricultural producers a fair price for their products, direct trade and access to credit and support for sustainable agriculture.


  • Enabled family farmers in the developing world to earn nearly $175 million in above-market income, bringing dramatic improvements in health, housing and education to their communities, thanks to expanded access to the U.S. market and direct partnerships with over 800 U.S. companies. Companies now taking part in Fair Trade include a rapidly growing range of powerful mainstream retailers and other industry leaders.
  • Expanded the range of Fair Trade Certified™ agricultural products available on the U.S. market more than tenfold, and led the development of innovative standards to bring Fair Trade benefits to new industries from garment manufacturing to diamond mining.
  • Trained and empowered over 10,000 family farmers in Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Rwanda to boost their incomes and living standards by improving crop quality and strengthening cooperative management capacity.



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