Fair Trade USA has decided to resign its membership from Fairtrade International (FLO) effective December 31, 2011.
I’m curious what this may mean for Fair Trade going forward. The entire concept of Fair Trade, at least in the coffee industry, has received a lot of criticism over the last couple years as being good but no longer good enough, especially in light of many roasters’ embarking on their own sourcing initiatives i.e. Direct Trade, etc.
One thought is that this development may be good in terms creating a competitive environment and thereby spurring the two associations towards improving the image of fair trade as a whole. Just a thought.
Another: there seems to me, as I stroll the aisles of my local organic grocer, an increasing number of certification organizations at play these days. I’m curious what sort of competitive environment already exists between all of them, what the nature of that competition is and what, if anything, this development has to do with it.
Feel free to enlighten me in the comments.