As youth, we build solidarity in line with Fair Trade values by using leadership development, capacity building and awareness-raising in organizing around Fair Trade principles, products and policies.
USFT is a collaboration of youth and students working together to build solidarity in line with fair trade values. Leadership development, capacity building and consciousness raising stand at the core of our grassroots organizing around Fair Trade principles, products and policies. We have three main functions. First, we organize--we work to consolidate and coordinate the power of the over 150 active student Fair Trade organizations in the U.S. Second, through intensive international exchanges and skill-building conferences, we do leadership development and capacity building. Third, we serve as a resource to student affiliates looking for anything from strategic campaigning advice to internship opportunities.
USFT has two core objectives. The first is to work towards a global economy that is based on human relationships, transparency, democracy, cooperatives, and equitable access, and in which communities may be empowered to work towards economic, social, and environmental sustainability. We do this by raising the awareness of and expanding the demand for Fair Trade, both on campuses and in communities. Through this process, we redefine relationships between producers and consumers, and engage in the ongoing struggle to build people's power in the face of corporate-driven globalization.
The second core objective is to expand student empowerment by working together as students and youth to cultivate the consciousness, capacity, and creativity that will proactively shape a global economy based on equity, justice, and integrity. We do this through offering international exchanges and delegations, internship opportunities, convergences and conferences, producing informational materials, and developing the organizing skills of student leaders.
We emphasize Fair Trade alternatives in the context of our critique of global trade practices and partner with trade justice organizations that lobby for progressive trade policy. Our domestic trade work includes building partnerships with anti-sweatshop and farmworker rights groups in order to promote fair domestic trade practices. USFT participates in ongoing national campaigns and explores other alternative economic models to improve the livelihood of farmworkers and their families in the U.S.
All together, USFT is a comprehensive global justice organization that is not only working to develop a new generation of Fair Trade leadership, but is also contributing substantially to the movement.
1. Fair Trade
2. Listening to Understand
4. Guidance by Local Knowledge
5. Awareness of Context
7. Mutual Exchange
8. Making Connections