BOSTON - April 9, 2013 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - In the city where hundreds of years ago a group gathered in the name of liberty to make a stand, a small cluster congregated again to speak with one voice on Tuesday. While this was no Boston Tea Party, it certainly was an opportunity for a consortium to take a stand in solidarity for the Fairtrade movement, not unlike that key event in the growth of the American Revolution. This is a new revolution where the power of business can be used for good. The goal of the group is to share their commitment publicly that the Fairtrade movement is alive, well and growing in Boston, in the United States and around the globe.
The ultimate goal of the Fairtrade movement is to support farmers in developing countries across the world to receive a fair price for their commodities and to work cooperatively using the power of the global community: government, NGOs, businesses, groups and individuals alike.
“It’s so cool how committed Ben and Jerry’s is to working for trade justice for farmers and workers!” said Harriet Lamb, CEO of Fairtrade International. “Ben and Jerry’s pledge to use all possible Fairtrade ingredients will deliver significant benefits to small farmers worldwide, from the sugar cane fields of Belize to walnut groves in Pakistan. And just like the farmers and workers in Fairtrade, it’s important that we work together to continue the push for trade justice. We are excited to have our new member organization, Fairtrade America, in place to collaborate with towns, non-profit organizations and the folks at Ben and Jerry’s and other companies who are all dedicated to creating a vibrant fair trade movement in the United States.”
Speakers from the cooperating partners gathered at Boston’s City Hall and included a cross section of key supporters of the Fairtrade movement. The Fair Trade Boston coalition which consists of congregations, businesses, student groups and community leaders organizing to increase access to and awareness of Fair Trade products and goods in Greater Boston was fully represented. The group achieved ‘Fair Trade Town’ status for Boston in 2010, making Boston the 20th such city in the country and the largest city on the East Coast.
Fairtrade International CEO – Harriet Lamb, City Councilor Mike Ross who introduced the Fairtrade legislation in Massachusetts, Director of Fairtrade Boston – Ryan Scott Macdonald, Equal Exchange’s Natural Foods Manager – Nicole Vitello, Marike de Peña, Vice President of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Small Producer Organizations (CLAC) and Ben & Jerry’s CEO – Jostein Solheim all shared their views of how they support Fairtrade. The group took turns speaking about the importance of the Fairtrade movement, how their organization conducts its business to support the purchase of Fairtrade goods, and how each best communicates the message of the Fairtrade movement.
In the afternoon Fairtrade International’s Harriet Lamb and Ben & Jerry’s Jostein Solheim embarked on a visit to Boston University to share their message of why Fairtrade makes a difference, and how the students can help with their voice - and their actions. “It’s our global Free Cone Day today,” stated Solheim, as he handed out ice cream to the crowds gathered, “so we’re using the opportunity to bring Free Cone Day to Boston University along with the message of values-led purchases that make a difference.”
Fairtrade International and Ben & Jerry’s continue to work together to educate about, and highlight the model of Fairtrade in the U.S. not only on Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day, but also again on the International FT Day May 11.
To learn more about the Fairtrade model, or how Ben & Jerry’s operates its business on a three-part mission statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community log onto benjerry.com.
Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH* on its labels. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Contributions made via the employee-led Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 2011 totaled $1.98 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry’s philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit www.benjerry.com.
* The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH treated cows and untreated cows. Not all the suppliers of our other ingredients can promise that the milk they use comes from untreated cows.
Ben & Jerry’s Grand Poobah of PR