Program Schedule

Friday, March 1

3:30-8:00pm

Registration Open

5:00-7:00pm

Welcome Reception & Expo

7:00-9:00pm

Grand Ballroom

Kickstart your conference experience with this series of rapid fire talks from leaders in sustainability, social justice, community advocacy and Fair Trade.

Saturday, March 2

8:00am-5:30pm

Registration Open

9:00am-9:15am

Opening Remarks

Grand Ballroom

9:15am-9:45am

Grand Ballroom

Did you know Chicago holds the title of largest Fair Trade Town in the country? Learn more about Fair Trade and sustainability efforts in our host city and the ongoing advocacy of Chicago Fair Trade.

10:25am-10:45am

10:45am-11:00am

Coffee Break

11:00am-12:30pm

Breakout Sessions

11:00am – 12:30pm | Chicago, Fourth Floor 

With over 2,100 designated Fair Trade Towns and thousands of universities, school and other groups, Fair Trade advocacy is one of the largest grassroots movements in the world. Representatives from across the movement will share successes and best practices and explore opportunities for global partnerships. Join us to celebrate the growth and impact of this inspiring network.

11:00am – 12:30pm | Madison, Third Floor 

What are the different dimensions of diversity? What sets apart equality and equity, and why is it important to distinguish between the two? In order to help ensure that the Fair Trade movement is as diverse, equitable and inclusive as possible, it’s essential to ground ourselves in the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion and best practices for diverse and inclusive advocacy. This interactive discussion and training will provide a foundation for understanding diversity, equity and inclusion, and how to create a culture of inclusion in our advocacy efforts and beyond.

11:00am – 12:30pm | Jackson, Third Floor 

From extreme droughts to catastrophic flooding, the effects of climate change are already being felt around the world. These changes are especially noticeable in the agricultural sector, where unpredictable weather patterns and the spread of pests and disease threaten crops and livelihoods. Find out how Fair Trade standards and community development projects support climate change mitigation and resilient communities.  

11:00am – 12:30pm | Lincoln, Third Floor 

With its long history of community organizing and labor rights movements, what better place than Chicago to brush up on your organizing and advocacy skills? Drawing on the expertise of Midwest Academy and their Organizing for Social Change training, you’ll learn new tactics for engaging volunteers and allies, growing and strengthening your network, and driving action through advocacy. 

12:30pm-1:30pm

Lunch & Expo Open

1:30pm-3:00pm

Grand Ballroom

From internal company culture to sector-wide standards, businesses have incredible power as influencers and drivers of change. Learn from movement leaders about how companies embed Fair Trade and sustainability in their mission and values, and how sustainability and Fair Trade commitments influence others in their sector and beyond.

3:15pm-4:45pm

Breakout Sessions & Expo Presentations

3:15pm – 4:45pm | Jackson, Third Floor 

The majority of the world’s cocoa is produced by smallholder farmers, many of whom live below the poverty line. Volatile market prices, the effects of climate change, an aging workforce and other factors threaten future production and economic wellbeing in these communities. Explore how brands, NGOs, certifiers and producers are working together to make the cocoa industry more ethical and sustainable.

3:15pm – 4:45pm | Madison, Third Floor 

Across the country, Fair Trade advocates are making strides to broaden their campaigns to include and partner with more diverse individuals, groups and organizations, and learning valuable lessons along the way. Hear from campaign organizers working to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in their advocacy and participate in a facilitated discussion to share successes and challenges and bring forward important questions while making new connections.

3:15pm – 4:45pm | Chicago, Fourth Floor 

Conscious consumerism is on the rise, and companies are responding with more ethically and sustainably produced products. Explore how Fair Trade supports these shifts towards responsible production and consumption, through certification systems, institutional purchasing and consumer advocacy.

3:15pm – 4:45pm | Lincoln, Third Floor 

Fair Trade is a complex system with a wide array of stakeholders, systems and verification bodies. Get back to basics with this conversation about Fair Trade systems and standards. Experts from across the Fair Trade movement will review principles and standards, explain certification and verification, and answer your questions.

3:15pm – 4:45pm | Grand Ballroom Foyer

Scheduled presentations will introduce attendees to a variety of organizations and opportunities for involvement, from volunteering to internships to jobs. In addition, industry experts will host a series of quick-fire presentations on valuable and relevant professional development topics: The Art of Interviewing and Unleashing the Power of LinkedIn.

4:45pm-5:30pm

Expo Open

Grand Ballroom Foyer

Engage in informative conversations, browse Fair Trade products available for sale and explore this vibrant space for learning and networking at the 2019 National Conference.

5:30pm-5:50pm

Grand Ballroom

2019 is a year of celebration as Fair Trade Seafood marks its fifth anniversary as the newest program at Fair Trade USA. Join Blake Stok from Fair Trade USA and Kevin Scriber, former Alaskan fisherman and sustainable fisheries advocate, to learn how Fair Trade USA impacts the lives of fishermen, fish farmers and workers.

5:50pm-7:00pm

Grand Ballroom

From coffee cooperatives to produce farms, join us for an inside look at Fair Trade on the ground in this conversation with Fair Trade workers and organizers from around the world.

Sunday, March 3

8:00am-1:15pm

Registration Open

9:00am-9:15am

Opening Remarks

9:15am-10:15am

10:15am-10:30am

Coffee Break

10:30am-12:00pm

Breakout Sessions & Expo Presentations

10:30am – 12:00pm | Madison, Third Floor 

Identifying and engaging allies is essential to the success of any organizing effort, especially when it comes to Fair Trade advocacy on campus. From sustainability offices to dining services to aligned student organizations and academic departments, the possibilities for collaboration are endless. Learn how campaign organizers have built strategic, long-term partnerships and how to engage with new allies to expand your campus’ Fair Trade impact.

10:30am – 12:00pm |  Jackson, Third Floor 

The evidence is clear – when women have access to sustainable incomes and education and are empowered to take on leadership roles, the benefits go far beyond individual wellbeing, positively impacting their families and communities. Through the lens of the coffee industry, learn how farmers are driving gender equality and empowerment in their communities and how brands engaged with Fair Trade embed those values in their companies.

10:30am – 12:00pm |  Chicago, Fourth Floor 

The Sustainable Development Goals offer a wide-ranging approach to ensuring decent work and economic growth. Among them, target 8.7 calls for immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labor, end modern slavery and human trafficking and eliminate the worst forms of child labor. Economic empowerment, workers’ rights and other components of Fair Trade can help meet these targets by 2030. Learn from organizations and advocates about Fair Trade’s role in their anti-trafficking efforts.

10:30am – 12:00pm |  Lincoln, Third Floor 

Sustainable livelihoods, social empowerment, community development, environmental sustainability. We know that Fair Trade delivers economic, social and environmental impact in communities around the world. But what does this impact look like in practice? Hear directly from farmers, workers and artisans as they share their experience of Fair Trade’s impact in their communities.  

10:30am – 12:00pm | Grand Ballroom Foyer

Scheduled presentations will introduce attendees to a variety of organizations and opportunities for involvement, from volunteering to internships to jobs. In addition, industry experts will host a series of quick-fire presentations on valuable and relevant professional development topics: The Art of Interviewing and Unleashing the Power of LinkedIn.

12:00pm-1:00pm

Expo Open

Engage in informative conversations, browse Fair Trade products available for sale and explore this vibrant space for learning and networking at the 2019 National Conference.

1:00pm

Sunday Special: Vegetarian Lunch

Grand Ballroom

In a conscious effort to encourage sustainability, increase energy efficiency, and to reduce water usage for this meal, the Conference collaborated with the JW Marriott to design a vegetarian farm-to table lunch on Sunday March 3rd. Lunch will include hydroponically grown organic tomatoes and family owned local honey, both sourced less than 30 minutes for the hotel which reduces the collective environmental footprint.

By making making small choices like the vegetarian planned menu, the conference has saved 180,290 liters of water (approximately 600 bathtubs full ) instead of choosing chicken or 645,000 liters of water (approximately 2,100 bathtubs full) instead of choosing beef.

1:30pm-2:45pm

Grand Ballroom

Young people are leading the charge for sustainability and social justice, making a difference locally, nationally and globally. From students advocating on and off campus, to graduates moving into impact careers, to leaders empowering the next generation of activists, it takes changemakers at every level to move the needle towards a sustainable future.

2:45pm-3:15pm

Closing Remarks

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