Beyond Certification: Fair Trade as Impact-Driven Business Structures


We think of Fair Trade mainly as a certification, but it has also emerged as an approach to the structures of impactful enterprises. In fact, the pioneers of Fair Trade were mission-led businesses that gave power and priority to farmers and workers. The 330 Fair Trade enterprises across 70 countries, with turnover ranging from under $100k to over $100m, and in sectors ranging from chocolate to jewelry, have in common a structure that has been audited to confirm that its priority is the workers and farmers who make the products.

Recognizing the importance of structural elements, the World Fair Trade Organization has compiled a taxonomy of business structures that appear throughout its network of businesses, with diverse products, size and location. From this analysis emerges an interesting triangulation of mission, human rights conditions, and trading practices.

In this webinar, Erinch Sahan, Chief Executive of the WFTO, will provide an overview of the features of Fair Trade enterprises, talk through examples, and suggest implications for investors interested in supporting impactful businesses (pre-reading available here).

Johny Joseph, CEO of Creative Handicrafts, will provide an example the structure for the women worker-owned Fair Trade Enterprise he runs in Mumbai. This will be an opportunity to explore concretely how the interface of finance and social enterprise plays out in some tricky conditions.

We invite you to join us on Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern for this 90-minute webinar via Webex.

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