2016 National Domestic Fair Trade Conference

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2016 National Domestic Fair Trade Conference:
Fair Trade and Racial Justice in Our Agricultural System
December 9-11th
Portland, Oregon



In an effort to connect stakeholders throughout the agricultural supply chain, the Domestic Fair Trade Association has hosted an annual meeting every year since the birth of the organization. This year, we are taking our annual meeting to the next level and planning a full conference in Portland, Oregon filled with local tours, keynote speakers, panels, workshops, and the presentation of a domestic fair trade award.
This upcoming conference helps farmers, farmworkers, retailers, processors, distributors, manufacturers, advocates, and activists to find and share concrete solutions to improving our agricultural production system. Through this special event, the DFTA is creating the opportunity for organizations and businesses to link their vital work on the ground to the larger goal of a world with more fair trade.

Friday Tours

The first day will center on tours highlighting domestic fair trade businesses and organizations in the Portland metro area. These tours will bring awareness to local businesses and organizations that are committed to domestic fair trade principles. Many of our past annual meeting attendees have found these tours to be instrumental in creating new connections and sparking fresh ideas of how to improve local, regional, and national food and agricultural systems.
Organically Grown Company   The first tour of the day will take place at the warehouse facilities of Organically Grown Company, the biggest distributor of organic produce in the Northwest. OGC is an employee and grower owned company and a proud member of the DFTA. During the tour, conference attendees will learn about how a food distribution company can work to support organic agriculture in a way that’s fair, good, and clean.
Food Front Cooperative Grocery   The second tour of the day will take place at the Northwest location of Food Front Cooperative Grocery. This food co-op was founded in 1972 by a small group of Portlanders and has now grown to 10,000 members and two locations in Portland. It is a unionized co-op that is committed to promoting a vibrant regional food system. Conference attendees will be able to tour the co-op facilities and take part in a discussion about fair labor practices in grocery stores and the current state of the natural food retail industry.
Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN)   The third tour of the day will take place at the PCUN facilities in Woodburn, Oregon. PCUN is Oregon’s farmworker union and the largest latino organization in the state. They organize year-round employees, irrigators, seasonal workers, nursery and reforestation workers, and cannery workers. Conference attendees will tour PCUN’s service center and community radio station, as well as the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation. At PCUN’s facilities, we will also hear from Jim Bronec from Praying Mantis Farm, as well as the owner from ANHAC farm about what it’s like to work with PCUN and employ fair labor practices on their farms.

Saturday Conference

The second day of the conference will include an inspiring keynote speech, 10 educational panels and workshops, and ample opportunities for networking. In the evening, we will host a party to commemorate the winner of our 1st Annual Domestic Fair Trade Award.
Photo Credit: In These Times

Keynote Speaker: Blain Snipstal

Blain Snipstal is a small-scale collective farmer from the Black Dirt Farm Collective in Eastern Maryland. He is a North American leader of La Via Campesina, an organization that represents over 200 million farmers in 73 countries and a board member of the Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network (SAAFON). Blain has worked to promote agroecology and provide education and training to underserved small-scale farmers. His keynote speech will address farming, food sovereignty, race and class in our food system, and the path toward a fair agricultural supply chain.

Panels and Workshops

To facilitate cross-sector education we have planned 10 exciting sessions filled with farmers, farmworkers, activists, and academics from across the country. Panels and workshops will range in topics from climate change, fair trade certification, racial justice, marketing and communication, and workers rights. Stay tuned for our full program.
Featured conference speakers include:

  • Rick Thomas, Nisqually Tribe
  • Dan Cornelius, Intertribal Agricultural Council
  • Jason Freeman, Farmer Direct Co-op
  • Ramon Torres, Familias Unidas por la Justicia
  • Spence Wood, Kansas State University
  • Joann Lo, Food Chain Workers Alliance
  • Ben Burkett, Federation of Southern Cooperatives
  • Margaret Reeves, Pesticide Action Network
  • Kathia Ramirez, CATA-Farmworker Support Committee
  • Rosalinda Guillen, Community to Community
  • Michael Shannon, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
  • Gillian Locasio, Washington Fair Trade Coalition
  • Marty Mesh, Florida Organic Growers
  • Alexia Kulwiec, University of Wisconsin Extension, School for Workers
  • Elena Perez, Restaurant Opportunity Center Seattle
  • Sally Lee, Rural Advancement Foundation International
  • Peter Hurst, Consultant to the International Labor Organization (ILO)
  • David Gould, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements

Click here for our full conference program.
Click here for agenda only.


Domestic Fair Trade Party

To celebrate the gathering of farmers, farmworkers, retailers, processors, distributors, and NGOS dedicated to the principles of domestic fair trade for our conference, the DFTA and Equal Exchange are hosting a party! The party will include delicious local food and drink, a silent auction, and the award ceremony for our 1st Annual Domestic Fair Trade Award.
Party Location:
Equal Exchange
3460 NW Industrial St
Portland, OR 97210
Domestic Fair Trade Award Recipient: Familias Unidas por la Justicia
Familias Unidas por La Justicia (FUJ) is an independent farmworker union of indigenous families located in Burlington, WA representing over 500 Triqui, Mixteco, and Spanish speaking workers at Sakuma Bros. Berry Farm. FUJ formed on July 11th, 2013 with the hopes of securing a better future for hand harvesters in the local berry fields of Whatcom and Skagit County. Nearly four years later, on September 12, 2016 FUJ won a historic secret ballot election ushering in a new era for farmworker justice in WA State.


Sunday Membership Meeting

The third day of the conference is only open to members of the DFTA (learn more about membership here). Our membership meeting will focus on improving and increasing collaboration among domestic fair trade businesses and organizations and will include annual elections, peer-to-peer development, and a discussion of DFTA strategic planning.

Location & Lodging

Meeting Location: The 2016 National Domestic Fair Trade Conference: Fair Trade and Racial Justice in our Agricultural System will be held at The Hilton Portland located at 921 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97204.
Accommodations: If you are in need of overnight stay, rooms are blocked off at The Hilton Portland from December 7-11, 2016. For conference attendees, single and double rooms are available for $109 per night.
Room Reservation Deadline: November 23, 2016.
Making Your Reservation: To make online reservations please click HERE. If you would prefer to reserve your room by phone, please call 1-800-HILTONS and use the group code “DOM” to receive the rate of $109 per night.


Please see below to read about our different registration options. Click here or the registration buttons to purchase tickets online.


DFTA membership includes a discounted 3-day conference ticket for the first representative of a DFTA member organization. All additional representatives from member organizations are encouraged to come for the price of general admission. If you are a member, please email info[at]thedfta[dot]org for the discount code.


There are three registration options for those who are not members of the DFTA. Non-members can choose to purchase the Friday and Saturday conference package (recommended), Friday only tickets, or Saturday only tickets. Saturday tickets include admission to the Domestic Fair Trade Party at Equal Exchange. The Sunday portion of the conference is only open to DFTA members.

Additional Registration Options

There are a few more ways to participate in the 2016 National Domestic Fair Trade Conference: Fair Trade and Racial Justice in Our Agricultural System.
Pre-Conference Workshop with Peter Hurst
On Thursday, December 8th, Peter Hurst will lead a day-long workshop about labor in the international agricultural system. Peter is a long-term consultant for the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Space is limited in this exciting workshop, so don’t miss out and register today! For more information please visit http://www.cias.wisc.edu.
Domestic Fair Trade Party
If you are unable to attend the full conference days, we are also selling separate tickets for the Domestic Fair Trade Party. Admission to the Domestic Fair Trade Party includes a full dinner, silent auction, and the presentation of our 1st Annual Domestic Fair Trade Award. All funds raised from the party will be dedicated to furthering our work to improve the agricultural supply chain so that it is fairer for workers and small/mid-size farmers and more environmentally sustainable.

Can’t attend the conference, but would still like to support? Please consider purchasing a ticket as a donation, so that a farmworker or small-scale farmer can attend.

Sponsoring the National Domestic Fair Trade Conference is a unique opportunity for businesses and organizations that are committed to domestic fair trade principles.

  • Develop Meaningful Connections: There is no other place where you can build deep relationships with farmworkers, farmers, retailers, NGOs, manufacturers, distributors, processors, and advocates.
  • Maximum Exposure: We only seek sponsors who are truly committed to our principles. As a sponsor, you will be able to expand consumer awareness and solidify your brand as a true supporter of a better food system.
  • Tailored Partnership: Tired of sponsorship benefits that don’t fit your needs? The DFTA is excited to design a benefit package that meets your marketing goals.
  • Support Farmworkers and Farmers: There are few organizations in which farmworkers and small-scale farmers are meaningfully included. Supporting this conference means demonstrating your commitment to farmworkers and farmers having an equal say in how we build a fair and sustainable food system.

Download our 2016 Sponsorship packet here.


Our Sponsors







Olympia Food Co-op
Central Co-op
Seward Community Co-op
UFCW Local 21