Fair Trade products
Today quite a variety of Fair Trade products is available in the marketplace. This page lists products and groups evaluated by PC(USA) to be doing good work and operating in ways that are consistent with the values of the PC(USA). Please note that a listing on this page does not constitute endorsement.
How does PC(USA) choose which products and companies to promote?
Fair Trade groups wishing to work with PC(USA) complete a Vendor Profile Form that we evaluate through our Global Marketplace program. (In some cases we also have a programmatic relationship with the organization, for example SERRV and Equal Exchange.) Organizations are primarily assessed based on the World Fair Trade Organization’s 10 principles of Fair Trade regarding social, economic and environmental standards. We look for certification by independent third-party monitors, a commitment to trading 100% in Fair Trade, active involvement in the Fair Trade movement, demonstrated commitment to producer development and empowerment, and dedication to consumer education. We consider input by PC(USA) mission personnel and ecumenical partners where appropriate.
Equal Exchange helped pioneer the Fair Trade coffee movement in the United States in the late 1980s. A worker-owned cooperative, Equal Exchange has an Interfaith Department dedicated to serving congregations and denominational partnerships including the Presbyterian Coffee Project. Each year Equal Exchange gives a portion of proceeds from Presbyterian purchases of coffee, tea and other products to the Presbyterian Small Farmer Fund; administered by the Presbyterian Hunger Program, these funds are disbursed as grants for producer cooperatives' own development projects.
Café Justo is a farmer-owned cooperative based in Mexico, formed to address the causes of labor migration from Mexico to the USA. Begun as an outreach of Presbyterian Border Ministry, the cooperative is made of coffee producers in Chiapas Mexico and roasters on the US-Mexico border.
Chocolate and Cocoa
Divine Chocolate is a Fair Trade chocolate company in which the farmers also own 45% of the company, which gives the farmers a share of Divine’s profits and a stronger voice in the cocoa industry. The cacao in Divine comes from the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in Ghana. We promote Divine through our partnership with SERRV.
Equal Exchange hot cocoa mixes and chocolate bars are available through the Presbyterian Coffee Project. The cacao in Equal Exchange chocolate products comes from CONACADO in the Dominican Republic, COCABO in Panama, CACVRA in Peru, and Fortaleza del Valle co-operative in Ecuador; fairly traded organic sugar comes from co-operatives in Paraguay and fairly traded vanilla comes from Madagascar.
Partners for Just Trade is a non-profit Christian organization that builds partnerships between artisans and producers living in extreme poverty and conscientious consumers. PJT’s dried fruit snack products such as pineapple, papaya, mango and banana are made possible thanks to the hard work of fruit farmers in Cameroon and PHP’s support through Joining Hands.
(home decor, food items, jewelry, textiles, games, instruments and more)
An extensive variety of handcraft products are available from a range of producer groups all over the world. Please visit the Global Marketplace page to explore the many groups partnering with PC(USA) for congregational sales and national events.
Import Peace seeks to foster economic development and growth opportunities for olive oil from the West Bank to ease poverty and hardship. Net proceeds are reinvested in Palestine for olive tree plantings and local development projects. Olive oil is sourced through the Palestine Fair Trade Association. Import Peace was founded by a Presbyterian as a result of a Presbyterian Peacemaking Program seminar in Israel in Palestine and in 2011 is merging with Zatoun.
Equal Exchange now offers Fair Trade olive oil, which comes from two farmer cooperatives which are part of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), a non-profit, non-governmental organization in the West Bank which is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization.
Sindyanna of Galilee is a women-led non-profit that works with the Arab community in Israel and trades with Fair Trade producers both from inside Israel and from the Palestinian West Bank. Sindyanna seeks to show that solutions to conflict begin with creating real economic opportunities and has received funding from the One Great Hour of Sharing through the Presbyterian Hunger Program. We promote Sindyanna through our partnership with SERRV.
Eighth Wonder is supports the indigenous cultures of northern Luzon, Philippines and their centuries-old tradition of community rice farming. Eighth Wonder works directly with the farmers to develop and sell their exceptional heirloom rice in North America.
Equal Exchange sources its teas from small farmers rather than large plantations and is working to build a stronger system that values the voice of small farmers, their products, and democracy in trade. Teas come from small farmer partners in India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the US.
T-shirts and Apparel
PC(USA) Sweat-Free Ts is your source for sweatshop-free t-shirts from a women's sewing cooperative in Nicaragua that has received funding from the One Great Hour of Sharing. Shirts are warehoused in Presbyterian Distribution and ready for printing by your youth group, mission trip, or other group.
Maggie’s Organics and a handful of other companies are piloting Fair Trade standards for apparel in the US. Learn more about the pilot here.
Other Fair Trade Products
For other products see the PC(USA) Global Marketplace page and Fair Trade USA’s products page (note that companies listed on the Fair Trade USA page are not necessarily evaluated by PC(USA)).
Eco-Palms – Sustainably harvested palm branches that pay harvesters fairly are available for your congregation’s use on Palm Sunday. While not currently a Fair Trade certified product, Eco-Palms as an ecumenical program is structured similarly to Fair Trade and operates using Fair Trade principles. Eco-Palms come from cooperatives and harvesting communities in Guatemala and Mexico.
Sweat-Free Ts – Organic cotton t-shirts from a women’s sewing cooperative in Nicaragua are available for your youth group, mission trip, summer camp or congregational celebration. Like Eco-Palms, t-shirts are not currently a Fair Trade certified product, though the PC(USA) program is structured similarly to Fair Trade and operates using Fair Trade principles.