Amid the terrible impact of the pandemic and economic crisis on the world around us, we witnessed George Floyd killed by Minneapolis police officers. Every time this happens it’s all too familiar, but just as painful. The names of Ahmaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and countless others echo in our collective consciousness.

I speak on behalf of my entire team at Fair Trade USA when I say we are outraged.

The principles of the civil rights, equal justice, and anti-racist movements align closely with the core values of the global fair trade movement. Fair traders stand against all forms of oppression. Fair traders stand in solidarity with everyone working to create a world where social justice, equal opportunity, sustainable livelihoods, and human dignity are the norm for all.

We believe workers’ rights are human rights. Civil rights are human rights. Black rights are human rights. We are all connected. And in our collective humanity, we believe that everyone deserves a life free of poverty and exploitation—whether it’s on the other side of the world or in our communities here at home.

So much has been said already by passionate organizers, leaders, artists, and citizens, that we simply want to add our voices in solidarity. We are horrified by what happened in Minneapolis and what continues to occur in this country. It is time for real change.

Today and every day, we stand with #BlackLivesMatter and the families of those who have lost precious lives at the hands of racist abuses of power.

At Fair Trade USA, we are more inspired than ever to continue our fight against poverty and discrimination. We started 21 years ago as a catalyst for change that unites companies, consumers, activists, farmers, and workers to make the world better. Together. What motivates us every day is the belief that business can, and must, evolve to be a force for good. That as consumers, we can change the world with our choices. That farmers and workers don’t need our charity; we need to foster a strong solidarity that converts hard work and entrepreneurial spirit into a journey of progress and hope for everyone. 

We fervently believe, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

To those of you who are lifting your voices and taking action for a better world, we thank you.


Paul Rice

Founder & CEO

Fair Trade USA