About Us

Our Mission

Fair Trade Philadelphia (FTPHL) mission is to advocate and promote for the core tenets of Fair Trade among our constituency of individuals, businesses and institutions within the Philadelphia region.

Our Principles

Fair Trade Philadelphia (FTPHL) endorses the World Fair Trade Organization’s (WFTO) 10 principles of Fair Trade as our organization’s standards for Fair Trade advocacy and commerce.

Our History

Fair Trade Philadelphia, FTPHL, founded in 2013​,​ joined a worldwide movement to promote Fair Trade: guaranteeing fair wages to producers​, safe working conditions, environmentally sustainable practices​, no child labor and democratic decision-​making processes.​ Its mission includes awareness raising among Philadelphians of trade unfairness and their own purchasing power to lessen inequality. It is a grant recipient from the Douty Foundation for their “Nurturing Fair Minds” project.

In 2015, FTPHL made​ Philadelphia a Fair Trade City by fulfilling criteria set by Fair Trade U.S.A. in 2015, the second largest such city in the U.S. after Chicago. The linked film was taken at Philadelphia City Hall on October 15 when the passing of Fair Trade Resolution was celebrated and the efforts of FTPHL was recognized. This video is the Resolution read by each city council person and remarks by FTPHL.

Our Philosophy and Journey

Various life encounters lead People to Fair Trade Philadelphia. In one case, it started out with seeing a documentary film, "The Dark Side of Chocolate" (below) and realizing that the sweet taste of chocolate in her mouth was probably produced with child slave labor in the Ivory Coast. Being made aware of the connection between the two led her to join the global Fair Trade movement.

Fair Trade is a change agent that humanizes trade practices by connecting producers and consumers in the most fundamental way. It helps consumers become aware of issues of fairness in trade and of their own purchasing power to make positive changes.

While it started with a focus on impoverished areas of the world, it has helped people realize unfair trade practices everywhere. We promote “Buy Local, Buy Fair”: when products grow locally, buy locally, and when not, buy fair trade.

Like any human endeavors, Fair Trade is complex. We need to be vigilant. That is why we believe in the third-party certification process.

We believe our mission aligns with the green movement. In order to be Fair Trade certified, producing practices need to be environmentally sustainable.

Recently, our focus has been on working with children. “Nurturing Fair Minds” project will bring the Fair Trade curriculum to schools in the hope that they grow up being aware of fairness in trade practices and feeling empowered to be part of the solution.