Fair Trade USA: Scaling for Impact

by Jennifer Walske and Laura D. Tyson

Fair Trade USA: Scaling for Impact
This case study focuses on Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of fair trade products in North America and founder, President, and CEO, Paul Rice and his challenges scaling FT USA, and the growth strategies that he and his team are debating. The case study covers a key point in FT USA's history amidst increasing competition from other certification organizations like Rainforest Alliance and Utz, as general market confusion over consumer packaging labels. Rice and his team are grappling with how to make the Fair Trade USA label more prevalent, as well as how to build a viable long-term business model, and the case discusses FT USA's role in helping companies like Hershey's develop sustainable supply chains.

Learning Objectives

To teach students about Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit organization that receives the majority of its revenue from license fees, which is very unusual strategy for nonprofits, and one that makes the organization appear more like a for-profit organization. To teach students how to scale an organization that faces steep competition and credibility challenges from external constituents, as many of the premises in which the organization was founded on become more mainstream.


Pub Date: Jun 9, 2015

Discipline: Social Enterprise

Subjects: Corporate social entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship, Corporate social responsibility, Corporate strategy, Social responsibility, Growth strategy, Sustainability, Supply chain management

Product #: B5836-PDF-ENG

Industry: Retail trade,Food

Geography: United States, California

Length: 29 page(s)

Berkeley Haas Case Series
Berkeley Haas Case Series The Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.


Berkeley Haas Case Series

A new collection of business case studies from Berkeley Haas

The aim of the Berkeley Haas Case Series is to incite business innovation by clarifying disruptive trends and questioning the status quo.

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