Businesses target fair trade niche

More retailers are incorporating fair trade practices, and Oregon businesses are following suit.

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Awareness and acceptance of fair trade are growing among American consumers, and more retailers nationwide are incorporating fair-trade practices.

The trend is prevalent among Oregon businesses as well, with companies like Eugene’s Mountain Rose Herb participating in TransFair USA’s “Fair Trade Certified” program.

“It was really hard to formalize social accountability in the 1980s,” co-owner Shawn Donnille said. So as TransFair USA, the leading independent, third-party fair-trade certifier in the United States, gained traction in the 1990s, “we thought it was the perfect fit to formalize our social accountability program,” he said.

About 30 of Mountain Rose Herb’s 40 varieties of tea carry TransFair USA’s “Fair Trade Certified” seal — a black-and-white figure holding baskets in both hands. It indicates that a product has met international fair trade standards for fair prices, fair labor conditions and environmental sustainability.

Read the full story at The Register-Guard.

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