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Monday
Nov122012

FairWild Standard recognized by Fair Trade Resource Network

FRTN educates people about recognition schemes for fair trade products and organizations.12 November 2012 - FairWild producers, traders and manufacturers will now be able to participate in programs of the Fair Trade Resource Network (FTRN), an information hub designed to grow the fair trade movement worldwide by educating about all things fair trade.

The move comes after FTRN formally recognized FairWild as one of several acceptable recognition schemes for fair trade initiatives. It means FTRN can share news, accept sponsors, and partner in all FTRN programs with all FairWild’s business, certifier and producer organizations and is expected to raise awareness about FairWild, especially in the US, where FTRN is most active.

Jeff Goldman, Executive Director, Fair Trade Resource Network, said “FTRN educates people about recognition schemes for fair trade products and organizations. The fair trade movement can learn much from the innovative FairWild Standard and certification scheme, which encompasses social and environmental criteria.”

There is currently low coverage of wild harvested plant ingredients by fair trade schemes, such as FairWild.

“We are glad to welcome FairWild producers, traders and manufacturers and consumers into programs and sponsorships of the Fair Trade Resource Network, and to help spread the word about fair and sustainable trade in wild plants,” said Goldman.

Example FTRN programs include World Fair Trade Day, the annual Fair Trade Photo Contest, and the organization’s online and print resources.

The US plays an important role in global trade in medicinal and aromatic plants, being the top global importer (by volume and value) of pharmaceutical products and ingredients alone. Demand is driven by a range of industries, from food-flavouring, cosmetics, fragrances and pharmaceuticals, to industrial solvent manufacturers.

Crawford Allan, TRAFFIC’s Director in North America, said “The production of certain botanicals relies on wild-collection, where unmonitored trade may lead to unsustainable exploitation of wild plant populations, putting them at risk.

“Fair and sustainable trade certified against the FairWild Standard plays an essential role in the conservation of wild species and helps local people to protect nature.”

The first products containing FairWild-certified ingredients were launched on the market in the US and Canada in 2009.

Josef Brinckmann, VP Sustainability, Traditional Medicinals Inc., said “Traditional Medicinals will now send FairWild product news to FTRN for promotion through their website, emails and social media. We look forward to the increased visibility of FairWild, and hope this leads to higher levels of awareness among US consumers about the importance of sustainable and fair trade in wild plant ingredients.”

Kerry Hughes, Director, IMO USA, also sees the US as an important growth area for FairWild. “US companies are increasingly taking up social responsibility and fair trade issues. Although the level of awareness about wild harvested ingredients and the conservation and fair trade issues involved is generally low, we are seeing increasing industry concern about this, and are proud to offer FairWild certification as a solution to their sourcing concerns.”

Founded in 1999, FTRN seeks to build a more just and sustainable world by gathering, developing, and disseminating educational resources about fair trade. It is the only non-profit organization focused exclusively on fair trade education, helping people to understand better the impact of their buying decisions.

One of the FTRN flagship events is the annual World Fair Trade Day, more details at: http://www.fairtraderesource.org/wftd/