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  • Can We Fix Capitalism?

    “The more business has begun to embrace corporate responsibility, the more it has been blamed for society’s failure. The legitimacy of business has fallen to levels not seen in recent history. This diminished trust in business leads political leaders to set policies that undermine competitiveness and sap economic growth. Business is caught in a vicious […] More

  • Fair Trade USA Tackles Fashion and Cotton Industry

    While doing laundry, we read our clothing labels – “wash in cold water”and “tumble dry low”. But do we pay attention to the “made in…” labels such as Made in India or Made in Peru? What does that actually mean? And where is the transparency? Fair Trade USA (formerly TransFair USA) hopes to shed light […] More

  • Starbucks and the World of Fair Trade

    Fair trade continually interests me. It’s a great example of a development “policy” that at first glance, seems perfect. Companies (generally in foodstuffs like coffee or cocoa, but clothing and related items as well), basically agree to set the prices of the goods they purchase at a higher than market price in order to provide […] More

  • Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade Blogger Fest

    I am in Burlington, Vermont attending the Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade Blogger Fest. Earlier this year, the ice cream company announced its plans “to go fully Fair Trade” for all its global flavors by the end of 2013… definitely an ambition goal. So for the next two days, bloggers from around the country will […] More

  • Is Fair Trade Really Fair?

    Like many other aspects of international development (microfinance, I’m looking at you), there is a wealth of literature on the value and outcomes of fair trade and for the most part, the results have been inconclusive. That’s not to say that there haven’t been some positive impacts, but like microfinance there are some definite drawbacks […] More

  • Starbucks Coffee: How Green Is Their Java?

    Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) is given credit by many for revolutionizing the American coffee drinking experience. The company however is both praised and criticized by environmentalists. Is Starbucks a leader of sustainability or greenwashed? Disposable Cups Starbucks stores use billions of cups annually. This requires enormous quantities of natural resources and energy before finding their way […] More