2017 Bi-National Domestic Fair Trade Association Conference

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2017 Bi-National Domestic Fair Trade Association Conference
Linking Up: Creating Fair and Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains
December 14-16
Atlanta, Georgia

Photo Cred- Esther Magasis (3)


When there is so much wrong with our food system–corporate control and monopolization, abundance of unhealthy food and unsustainable production practices, unfair pricing for farmers, low wages and dangerous conditions for food and farm workers–it can be hard to believe that any other way of agricultural production is possible.

This year, the Domestic Fair Trade Association is hosting a conference with the theme Linking Up: Creating Fair and Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains in order to remind us that there are alternatives to our current food system and to inspire us to truly believe that these alternatives can become the norm. Experts will gather to share concrete strategies and best practices for how all the sectors in our food system can work together to develop a vision for agricultural production that is based on health, sustainability, and justice.

Thursday Tours

The first day will center on tours highlighting domestic fair trade businesses and organizations in the Atlanta 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.

Georgia Organics/Turnip Truck Developed by its members, Georgia Organics leads the state in strengthening and building sustainable farms. Georgia Organics will talk about its partnership with Global Growers, a nonprofit organization committed to giving access to agriculture opportunities for local refugees. They will also highlight their work with SAAFON (Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network to promote production of organic peanuts in Southeast Georgia. Attendees will have a chance to tour the Turnip Truck, an independent distributor, and meet Michael Schneck, the founder and COO. This is a unique chance to learn about the challenges and successes of delivering fresh produce directly from farms to restaurants, schools, and institutions, and about how Turnip Truck eliminates the farmers’ stress of finding markets for their produce.

Truly Living Well   As a nationally recognized leader in natural urban agriculture, Truly Living Well (TLW) strives to connect people with the land through education, training, and demonstration of economic success. Some of their programs include farm training, garden installation, and youth education. Attendees will receive a tour of the garden and hear from TLW’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Rashid Nuri. We’ll eat lunch with produce sourced directly from TLW’s urban farm!

Emory University   Compared to other colleges nationwide, Emory University is a leader in implementing sustainability initiatives. In order to support environmental health, worker welfare and wages, and farm viability, Emory has set the ambitious goal of including 75 percent local or sustainably grown food in its hospitals and cafeterias by 2025. On this tour, you’ll see Emory’s dining hall and educational garden. You’ll also learn about Emory’s standard process and sustainable food criteria, the shift from fast food to local restaurants in the food court, Emory’s minimum wage, sustainable food educational efforts, and more.

Friday Conference

The second day of the conference will include an inspiring keynote speech, 8 educational panels and workshops, and ample opportunities for networking. In the evening, we will host a party to commemorate the winner of our 2nd Annual Domestic Fair Trade Award.

PD close up April 2016
Keynote Speaker: Paula Daniels

Paula Daniels is co- founder and Chair of the Center for Good Food Purchasing, a social enterprise non-profit founded in July of 2015 as a national spin off from the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, which Paula founded in 2011. Paula was also Executive Director of California Central, a USC Villaraigosa Initiative. She is a public policy leader in environmental food and water policy, with recognition through academic appointments and other awards. Some recent examples: September 2016, Resident Fellow of the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation; 2015, Pritzker Environment and Sustainability Education Fellow at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; 2013, Lee Chair in Real Estate Law and Urban Planning at the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley; 2012-2013, Stanton Fellowship (awarded by the Durfee Foundation). She has also had academic appointments at USC and Vermont Law School.

Building on a successful career as an attorney in civil litigation, she served as a Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner (a full-time position overseeing the Department of Public Works) and then Senior Advisor to Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles. She has also been a commissioner with the California Coastal Commission, and a gubernatorial appointee on the governing board of the California Bay-Delta Authority. She was an appointee of Governor Brown to the California Water Commission, and served in his Office of Planning and Research as Senior Fellow for Food Systems, Water, and Climate.

Read more about Paula Daniels.

Panels and Workshops

To facilitate cross-sector education we have planned 8 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.

Welcome Panel
Food Chain Innovation: Re-Imagining the Commons of Agricultural Pathways

Following our keynote speech, conference attendees will hear from experts who are delivering proof of concept food innovations to the marketplace, including brick and mortar prototypes in full operation. This panel will be led by Kwabena Nkromo from Atlanta Food & Farm. We will hear from Judith Winfrey from Peach Dish, Ahzjah Simons from Sevananda Natural Foods Market, and Latron Price from American Sales and Distribution Services, Inc.

Afternoon Film Screening and Talk
It is impossible to create fair and sustainable agricultural supply chains without addressing the racist origins of agriculture in this country and without acknowledging that this legacy still persists today. Shirley Sherrod, the executive director of the Southwest Georgia Project, will present a short film, Arc of Justice, which focuses on New Communities, Inc. and the struggle to maintain African-American ownership of farmland. Following the film screening, Mrs. Sherrod will discuss black land loss, the connection between civil rights and food justice, and the importance of racial justice in creating fair and sustainable agricultural supply chains. 1467229751

More about Shirley Sherrod
Shirley Sherrod is co-founder and Executive Director for the Southwest Georgia Project. She is a graduate of Albany State University with a degree in Sociology and has a Master’s degree in Community Development from Antioch University. Mrs. Sherrod is a former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture.

She became the subject of a controversy when edited remarks were used to force her to resign. However, upon review of the complete unedited video in full context, the NAACP, White House officials, and Tom Vilsack, and the United States Secretary of Agriculture; apologized for the firing and Sherrod was offered a new position. She currently serves on the boards of Rural Advancement Foundation International, Rural Development Leadership Network and the Albany Chamber of Commerce.

Other featured conference speakers include:

  • Christina Spach, Food Chain Workers Alliance
  • Magaly Licolli, Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center
  • Sarah Lloyd, Wisconsin Farmers Union
  • Ryan Saunders, Labor for Sustainability
  • Michelle Miller, University of Wisconsin, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
  • Joann Lo, Food Chain Workers Alliance
  • Kelly Maynard, University of Wisconsin, Center for Cooperatives
  • Eric Simpson, West Georgia Farmers Co-op
  • Matthew Epperson, Daily Groceries Co-op & Georgia Cooperative Development Center
  • Cullen “Slim” Brown, Feed the People Farms

Click here for the conference agenda.

Click here for the conference program.

Breaks sponsored by:



Meals sponsored by:
WOP_Seal_White DollisonFarmsLogo    

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 is hosting a party! The party will include delicious local food and drink, a silent auction, and the award ceremony for our 2nd Annual Domestic Fair Trade Award.  
Party Location:
Newport US RE
117 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Domestic Fair Trade Award Recipient: Dr. Bronner’s
Dr. Bronner’s is 5-generation family-based business that is committed to making organic and fair trade certified soap. We have chosen Dr. Bronner’s for its demonstrated commitment to the principles of Domestic Fair Trade. They have given over $500,000 to minimum wage ballot efforts in 2016, opened a solar power installation project, and are currently partnering with Fair World Project’s launch of Grow Ahead, a new crowdfunding platform to stand in solidarity with small farmers facing impacts of climate change.

Beer provided by:  

Savannah Logo JPEG     

Saturday 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 an exclusive workshop from Real Food Challenge, annual elections, peer-to-peer development, and a discussion of DFTA strategic planning.

Location & Lodging

Meeting Location: The 2017 Bi-National Domestic Fair Trade Association Conference will be held at The Hyatt Regency Atlanta located at 265 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.

Accommodations: If you are in need of overnight stay, rooms are blocked off at The Hyatt Regency Atlanta from December 13-17, 2017. For conference attendees, single and double rooms are available for $129 per night.

Parking: Parking is typically $40 a day but for DFTA conference attendees, it is $20 a day for self-parking in a parking lot a block away from the hotel and $26 overnight valet parking at the hotel.

Room Reservation Deadline: November 29, 2017.

Making Your Reservation: To make online reservations please click HERE. If you would prefer to reserve your room by phone, please call 1-888-421-1442 toll free and use the name of the conference to receive the rate of $129 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. Member tickets include lunch on Thursday, lunch and dinner on Friday, and lunch on Saturday.



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


Additional Registration Options

There is one more way to participate in the 2017 Bi-National Domestic Fair Trade Association Conference.

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 2nd 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.

Please contact info@thedfta.org if you are a farmer or farmworker in need of a discount to attend the conference on Friday.


Sponsoring the Bi-National Domestic Fair Trade Association 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 2017 Sponsorship packet here.


Our Sponsors





Thank You to Our Conference Planning Committee!
    • Joann Lo, Food Chain Workers Alliance
    • Kelly Maynard, University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives
    • Marty Mesh, Florida Organic Growers
    • Meg Kennedy, Central Co-op
    • Ben Burkett, Federation of Southern Cooperatives