As we innovate, we stand unwavering in our commitment and dedication to small-scale farming cooperatives. That’s why Fair Trade for All seeks to deepen the impact of Fair Trade for co-ops around the world, which have been the pioneers of the model.
To further strengthen these farming communities, Fair Trade USA is developing innovative new partnerships to connect, create and transform the lives of small-scale farmers worldwide. We call this approach Co-op Link, to recognize the unique role Fair Trade USA can play in linking organizations from all areas of the supply chain to maximize impact for producers and their families.
Our specific Co-op Link programs aim at helping cooperatives improve quality, increase productivity, access capital cost-effectively, and become stronger business partners. For these efforts Fair Trade USA and our partners have invested $10 million since 2006.
Here are but a few examples of recent results:
The newest development within the Co-op Link initiative is our Cooperative Small Grants Program. Producer groups who have identified challenges around market access, financing, quality or productivity – and who have ideas for how to address these challenges – can apply for these grants. Project ideas that have already been suggested by producer groups include financial management courses to increase access to capital, cupping training to improve coffee quality, environmental mapping to understand the potential supply from members, or resources to start an organic production pilot. These grants give cooperatives the opportunity to experiment with new ways to solve key problems; and as we identify which solutions work best, Fair Trade USA can help expand these programs to other cooperatives.
See list of past and present Co-op Link projects