For Immediate Release
Friday, July 25, 2003


FAIR TRADE RESOLUTION INTRODUCED
IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) introduced House Resolution HR 349 today, recommending that the Legislative Branch and the Executive Agencies make Fair Trade Certified coffee available at its events and food service venues. The resolution further directs Congress to provide information to the public about Fair Trade coffee.

Fair Trade Certified Coffee is currently available in the European Parliament, the British House of Commons, the World Bank and a few cafes on Capitol Hill.

Fair Trade guarantees fair wages and employment opportunities to millions of producers of coffee, chocolate, and many other foods and artisan handicrafts. Fair Trade benefits farmers and rural communities, while meeting a growing consumer demand for high quality products that respect people, their communities and the environment.

One of the leading organizations working with global Fair Trade groups to break poverty cycles and empower developing nations through more sustainable based trade rules is the Minneapolis-based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).

IATP is organizing an International Fair Trade Fair and Sustainable Trade Symposium in conjunction with the World Trade Organizationís (WTO) 5th Ministerial Meeting in Cancun Mexico in September, where global leaders will be offered solutions to the social and economic crisis faced by farmers and rural communities worldwide.

"The Fair Trade movement has flourished largely because the WTO-driven, free trade model has failed to respond to the needs of poor countries," said IATP President Mark Ritchie. "There is a real opportunity for the WTO and the U.S. government to incorporate Fair Trade principles in developing new trade rules."

PRESS CONTACTS:

  • Lindsey Capps, media contact for Rep. Starkís office, 202-225-5065, press@stark.house.gov or Andrea Salinas, Senior Legislative Assistant, at 202-225-5065 or andrea.salinas@stark.house.gov
  • Kari Hamerschlag, Senior Associate, Fair Trade Specialist, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, 510-524-8810 (office), 510-207-7257 (cell), kariham@earthlink.net
  • Paul Katzeff, CEO and Roastmaster, Thanksgiving Coffee Company, a roaster of Fair Trade, Organic and specialty coffees, (800) 462-1999, pkatzeff@thanksgivingcoffee.com
  • Haven Bourque, Director of Communications, Transfair USA, (415) 663-5260 x314, hbourque@transfairusa.org - U.S. Certification agency for Fair Trade products
  • Fair Trade Symposium and Fair Trade Fair - www.fairtradeexpo.org

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