About Us

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The Fair Trade Federation is a trade association of fair trade enterprises fully committed to equitable and sustainable trading partnerships. We strengthen and support our members in order to grow the global movement of trade that values the health of the planet, and the labor, dignity, and equality of all people.

As part of the global fair trade movement, the Fair Trade Federation shares a vision of a world in which justice, equity, and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood.

The Fair Trade Federation traces its roots to the late 1970s when individual alternative trade organizations began holding yearly conferences for groups working in fair trade. In 1994, the group incorporated formally as the North American Alternative Trade Organization (NAATO); and, the following year, changed its name to the Fair Trade Federation. Since then, FTF has focused on supporting fully committed businesses in order to expand markets for artisans and farmers around the world. The Federation has been an active member of the World Fair Trade Organization (formerly IFAT) for many years.

Trade as a Force for Positive Change

We value trading relationships that distribute power, risks and rewards equitably. We believe that trade should be a tool to eliminate inequality and create self-determination for all people. We are committed to trade that includes fair compensation, safe and healthy working conditions, direct and long-term relationships, transparent business practices, and workplaces free from discrimination and forced child labor.

Fullest Commitment to Fair and Sustainable Practices

We believe that credibility comes through open and transparent interactions. We believe we have a responsibility to maintain the highest standards and expectations of ourselves and we value organizations that aspire to fully embrace fair trade principles, including the application of economic, social, cultural, and environmentally sustainable practices.

Respectful Partnerships

We celebrate the contribution and value of all people in the supply chain and recognize the dignity of each person and organization in our interactions and relationships. We believe that people have a right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives based on open sharing of information. 

Solidarity in a Global Community

We believe that communities grounded in trust, moral support, cooperation, and a sense of belonging makes us stronger individually and as a whole. We value the impact that comes from empowering consumers with knowledge and believe that our unified voices convey a powerful message.

Chris Solt | Executive Director

As Executive Director, Chris manages the strategic, administrative, and programmatic aspects of the Fair Trade Federation. Chris has dedicated much of his professional career toward strengthening fair trade businesses and advancing the goals of the larger fair trade movement. Prior to joining the FTF staff in 2016, Chris spent over 5 years as a Regional Sales Manager for Ten Thousand Villages US, working with fair trade stores of all sizes to be more successful. Chris then led the training team with Ten Thousand Villages for 7 years, which included coordinating and driving educational events, conferences, and fair trade promotion.

After joining the FTF in early 2016, Chris has helped shape member education programs, led the coordination and planning for FTF Conferences, and represented FTF at events across the US and Canada. He has developed relationships with fair trade professionals from all over the world, including travels to India, Nepal, Peru, and Guatemala, where he has seen the impact of fair trade, first hand. On September 19, 2019, the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) elected Chris as their Pacific Representative on the WFTO’s Global Board for a four year term. 

Chris earned a BA in Social Science at Cleveland State University, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership with a Graduate Certificate in Human Resources from Southern New Hampshire University.

Rachel L. Spence | Director of Operations & Engagement

Rachel joined the Fair Trade Federation in 2016. As Director of Operations and Engagement, she is responsible for the FTF’s communications, brand, website, and engagement. She also works with the Executive Director to ensure efficient operations and the realization of the FTF’s long-term strategies.

Rachel is on the steering committee of local advocacy group Fair Trade Philadelphia and the board of directors of Grow Ahead, a crowdfunding platform that supports small family farmers as they address the challenge of climate change in their communities. In 2019, she was named one of the gift and stationery industry’s 40 under 40.

Prior to the FTF, Rachel worked with fair trade farmer cooperatives in Latin America for Fundación Aliados (formerly Fundación Runa). She also worked in the field of international trade policy in New York and with the United Nations in Washington, DC. Rachel has an MA in International Affairs from George Washington University’s Elliott School and a BA in International Economics & Commerce and Spanish Language & Literature from Lafayette College.

Alyssa Anderson | Membership Manager

Alyssa joined the Fair Trade Federation as Membership Manager in 2020. She oversees the rigorous membership application process and annual member reviews and assists in coordinating events and member programs.

Alyssa is active in the Lancaster hub of the Global Shapers Community as well as the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. She has been in the non-profit sector for the majority of her career, both with Agency with Choice, an organization dedicated to assisting individuals in selecting their own care providers, and Church World Service, where she served as a resettlement case manager in the Refugee Resettlement Program.

Her passion for fair trade was cultivated throughout her years working for those in vulnerable populations and advocating for human rights issues and sustainable practices both professionally and personally. Alyssa earned a B.A. in International Studies with a French minor from Millersville University.

Sam Bills, Chair

Ten Thousand Villages USA

Pasadena, CA

Lindsay Woodruff, Vice Chair

Pachamama Market

Troy, OH

Shelley Tennyson, Treasurer

MZ

Oceanside, CA

Jessica McIntyre, Secretary 

Maggie’s Organics

Dexter, MI

Jonit Bookheim

Mata Traders

Chicago, IL

Margaret Clines

Anchal Project

Louisville, KY

Mac McCoy

dZi Handmade

Easthampton, MA

Austin Miller

Kahiniwalla x Pebble

Canton, OH

Paul Whitney

African Bronze Honey Company

Ottawa, ON

Photo by MZ Fair Trade