Domestic Fair Trade Project
As one way of promoting food sovereignty Cooper Institute has worked in collaboration with the National Farmers Union to investigate the concept of Domestic Fair Trade as the basis for a food marketing system.
In 2008-09, the two organizations successfully completed a one-year project, Fair Trade Food Product Marketing in Canada: Creating a Climate of Awareness and Action. An important part of that project was the research conducted by Susan Fitzpatrick into Domestic Fair Trade organizations and projects in Canada and the US. She presented that research at the 2008 annual convention of the NFU in Saskatoon, and at two public workshops, in Kinkora and Charlottetown, in December 2008. The research report is available in hard copy from Cooper Institute. A clear-language community guide to Domestic Fair Trade, principles and practices, Domestic Fair Trade for Food Products - A Community Guide is also available.
A second project, undertaken by Cooper Insitute and the National Farmers Union in 2009-2010, resulted in a plan for implementing domestic fair trade as a means of improving farm income: Planning for Domestic Fair Trade: An Outline.
An essential element of Cooper Institute's work on Domestic Fair Trade is a South-North exchange of knowledge and commitment based on the successful, though difficult, years of experience in establishing and developing a Fair Trade system in the Caribbean, especially in St Vincent-and-the-Grenadines and Dominica. Renwick Rose, from the Windward Island Farmers Association, contributed to our project, sharing generously of his time by making a presentation to one of the domestic fair trade consultations in December, 2009.