by Melissa Elkins, Sustainability Coordinator
The Domestic Fair Trade Association is a membership organization that includes farmworkers and their organizations, farmers and farmer groups, retailers, NGOs, and food intermediaries such as, distributors, processors, and manufacturers.
In December, Co-op Sustainability Coordinator Melissa Elkins attended the annual Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA) conference in Portland.
The Co-op, Community to Community Development, and Familias Unidas por la Justicia are the only three members of the DFTA north of Seattle.
Melissa snapped some photos of the event to share with us.
Food Front Cooperative Grocery Tour
The group toured Food Front Cooperative Grocery and learned from their GM Eamon Molloy and some of their union representatives about working for a union co-op and why they chose to unionize.
Blain Snipstal Keynote Speaker
Blain Snipstal is a small-scale collective farmer from the Black Dirt Farm Collective in Eastern Maryland. He is also a North American leader of La Via Campesina, an organization that represents over 200 million farmers in 73 countries and a board member of the Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON). Blain has worked to promote agroecology and provide education and training to underserved small-scale farmers.
Familias Unidas por la Justicia Award
During an award dinner at the Equal Exchange warehouse, Ramon Torres from Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) accepted the first annual Domestic Fair Trade Award. Edgar Franks, from Community to Community Development (C2C) participated on some panels and translated for Ramon. Que Bacano! supplied some amazing food for the dinner.
People who attended the Co-op Board of Director’s event in January also had the opportunity to meet Ramon and Edgar and hear them speak about the important work that FUJ, C2C, and farmworkers are doing in our local area.