Fair Trade USA certifies companies who are helping to empower farmers and workers around the world.

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Its unique market-based model for sustainability links millions of farming families in the developing world to leading U. Fair Trade empowers working and farming families to improve their living standards while protecting the environment. At the same time, it strengthens global supply chains and makes sustainability a driver of profitability for the business community.

At the same time, Fair Trade enables brands and retailers to develop stronger supply chains, reputations, and consumer loyalty. The rapid growth of the Fair Trade market over the last 17 years suggests that a more enlightened model of conscious capitalism is emerging — enabling people, planet, and profit to thrive together.

Fair Trade USA is investing significant capital in its global expansion and is well positioned for its next phase of growth, impacting the lives of millions of families.

The CRO must lead the achievement of ambitious business development and sales targets within the context of a 5-year strategic growth plan launched in The CRO has the advantages of working with an energetic and visionary CEO, an ambitious, entrepreneurial team, and one of the best-known brands in the world of sustainable products.

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record in leading business development, sales, and marketing teams, and will have deep experience implementing successful growth strategies in organizations that are looking to aggressively scale. This includes having stellar negotiation and deal-making skills, as well as exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. The CRO will be a natural relationship builder, coach, and mentor for staff.

This position will lead a dedicated, knowledgeable, and hardworking team. As such, the CRO must have outstanding people management and facilitation skills, including the ability to identify talent and support professional development opportunities. Fair Trade USA is a fast-paced, dynamic environment driven by a passion for doing good in the world.

It values integrity, innovation, idealism, and impact. The CRO must thrive in this highly entrepreneurial and results-focused setting and bring the analytical strength to help the organization prioritize opportunities and execute successfully.

Not only has the organization been on a tremendous growth trajectory, but now with the injection of new capital and an expanding consumer base, the CRO role is a legacy-building opportunity for an accomplished market builder who is inspired to take FTUSA to the next level. The successful candidate will have a deep-rooted sense of collaboration and will be excited by the complexity and potential that comes with leading an entrepreneurial team across multiple product categories.

Candidates must have a minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible leadership experience with a track record of success in growing sales, market share, and revenue. Experience selling socially responsible and sustainable brands is highly desirable. An MBA or equivalent degree is preferred. The Opportunity Fair Trade USA is investing significant capital in its global expansion and is well positioned for its next phase of growth, impacting the lives of millions of families.

Lead the creation and implementation of long-term business development strategies for each product category, including annual operating plans, budgets, and revenue forecasts. Work with category leaders to implement stronger sales management processes to meet growth targets with greater efficiency, scalability, and profitability.

Support category heads in recruiting, developing, mentoring, and leading strong teams. Support key account management and cultivate strategic account relationships. Evaluate market opportunities for product expansion and direct new product initiatives.

Develop consumer and trade marketing strategies to raise consumer awareness and drive sales in collaboration with industry partners. Minimum Qualifications Candidates must have a minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible leadership experience with a track record of success in growing sales, market share, and revenue.

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The family-owned Wholesum Harvest had to meet a checklist of more than standards — including many worker protections — to become the first American farm certified by Fair Trade USA.

Workers at its Nogales, Ariz. Courtesy of Wholesum Harvest hide caption. Workers at a tomato farm in Nogales, Ariz. And they expect more money to come. The approximately workers of Wholesum Harvest are still deciding how to spend the money, but they say their initial priorities include subsidizing transportation, recreation areas and medical insurance.

Located just north of the Mexican border, the family-owned Wholesum Harvest is the first farm in the United States to receive certification from Fair Trade USA, which means it has demonstrated compliance with a checklist of more than standards detailing working conditions and environmental protection.

Every fair-trade purchase involves a small financial premium paid by retailers and, ultimately, consumers. As the funds from these premiums accumulate, workers receive distribution checks and organize into committees to decide how best to spend the money.

Consumers in the United States have likely seen fair-trade labels on coffee beans or cocoa grown by farmers in countries like Ethiopia or Guatemala.

But fair-trade certification now covers everything from clothing to seafood, and Fair Trade USA wants to expand its labels to cover domestic operations as well. When the organization got started, "the feeling was that workers and farmers in the States didn't need it," says Paul Rice, president of Fair Trade USA. But that sentiment is changing. And over the past few years, other nonprofits, such as the Agricultural Justice Project and the Equitable Food Initiative, have launched their own labeling efforts.

When Fair Trade USA opened its doors in , the nonprofit's focus was improving pay and working conditions for farmers in countries with the fewest legal protections. By providing a standard label that indicated adherence to a clear set of ethical and environmental standards, the organization aimed to help retailers and consumers decide which products to stock or purchase.

Fair Trade USA split from the umbrella organization Fairtrade International at the end of , citing the desire to certify a broader range of producers and companies as Fair Trade. But while the United States has stronger labor laws and environmental safeguards than some countries, conditions for many agricultural workers are still far below Fair Trade USA's standards.

Wholesum, which grows organic cucumbers, squash, eggplant and bell peppers in addition to tomatoes, was already fair-trade certified at its farm in Sonora, Mexico, so it was a natural step to apply for the label at its U.

It became certified in October, roughly four months after it began the lengthy process of audits and inspections. Wholesum Harvest made many changes as part of its fair-trade certification, including switching to carbon-neutral pallets and working to protect an endangered species of cactus. The farm was voluntarily meeting many of the fair-trade standards, but she saw the label as a way to communicate the company's values with greater credibility.

Rice groups the standards into three broad categories: They cover things like the frequency of worker breaks, wages, safety conditions, working hours, pesticide use and product packaging.

The certification process prompted many changes at Wholesum. The staff has established a permanent nondevelopment zone to protect an endangered species of cactus; switched to carbon-neutral pallets; spent dozens of hours interviewing workers about their needs and educating them about their rights; and invested in a record-keeping system to document their compliance with fair-trade standards.

The certification has given the workers additional responsibilities as well. Important decisions are voted on by the entire community of workers, and they have elected a committee to research and analyze projects they might pay for with their fair-trade premiums. The workers at Wholesum's Sonora location, for example, have purchased school buses to help their children get to school; built a soccer field and a tortilla factory that sells its tortillas back to the community at cost; and subsidized medical vouchers for dental and vision care.

After hurricanes devastated parts of central Mexico a few years ago, the workers voted to send a sizable check to the Red Cross to help recovery in the region. Many of the workers on fair-trade committees end up learning skills in accounting, project management and community organizing. Hazzany Ibarra has worked as a tomato packer at Wholesum's Arizona warehouse for five years and is now vice president of its workers' committee.

He spends about five hours a week in meetings, conversations or research related to fair trade. Now that the workers have received their first check, "I'm excited but also nervous," he says. But he says he wants consumers considering whether to buy a fair-trade product to understand that "it really does mean something.

Nick Romeo is a journalist based in Palo Alto, Calif. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Not Just For Foreign Foods: Now, the group is looking closer to home, starting with an Arizona organic farm. Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email.

April 19, 1: Courtesy of Wholesum Harvest.