United Students for Fair Trade (USFT) is America’s largest network of college and high school students working on fair trade. USFT was founded by a group of students working with Oxfam America in 2003. USFT is a collaboration of students and youth working in solidarity with cooperative communities to promote fair trade principles and products. By promoting conscientiousness, we build communities among students and empower those communities to connect to with other. We organize and work to consolidate and coordinate the power of all of the student fair trade organizations in the U.S. We serve as a resource to student groups looking for strategic campaigning advice. Our goals for the communities we help develop are;
- Ensuring justice at every stage of the the process from bean to bar, cotton seed to store shelf; right to organize, lack of child /forced labor etc etc, safe working conditions,access to a living wage. We look to third-party organizations such as the Workers Rights Consortium to set the bar high when it comes to practicing Codes of Conduct.
- Knowing the story of the workers behind all goods, fairly and unfairly trades, and connecting these stories with their community
- Promoting social awareness by voting with our dollar
- Knowing where their food comes from
- While acknowledging that fair trade may be a primarily international concern, we promote and encourage domestic fair trade. In doing so, we hope that we will be able to strengthen our country as a whole
USFT works to expand student empowerment by working together as students and youth to cultivate the conscientiousness, capacity, and creativity that will proactively shape a global economy based on equity, justice, and integrity. To achieve this, we offer networking opportunities, provide informational materials, participate in convergences and conferences, and develop the organizing skills for students involved in the movement.
Our National Coordinating Committee for 2012-2013 consists of the following:
“Hi, my name is Joanna Agin and I’m a sophomore Criminology and Criminal Justice Major at the University of Maryland, College Park. I’m a campus tour guide and I love to be outside in my free time. Born and raised in New Jersey, I love the beach and swimming in the pool and ocean. As National Coordinator, I hope to help students from all over the country connect with one another and promote the fair trade movement on their campuses, as one big student group standing together. “
Hello, I am Emily Dooley a sophomore at the University of Maryland, there I am a double major in Anthropology and Women’s Studies. Last January, as a member of USFT and our on campus student organization I got the opportunity to travel to the Alta Gracia factory and other awesome places in the DR as part of a solidarity immersion run through the Fair World Project! This trip gave me amazing insight and motivation that I cannot wait to share! My goal as a coordinator for USFT is share the knowledge I have gained as well as continuing to learn, I hope that together we can move towards progress and empowerment.