CFAT grew out of the successful Fair Trade Research Group (FTRG) established at Colorado State University (CSU) in 1999. FTRG incorporated a CSU-based research team with an international network of scholars and practitioners. In 2005-06, with funding from the College of Liberal Arts at CSU, we transformed FTRG into a research center named the Center for Fair & Alternative Trade (CFAT).
In 2008, CSU recognized CFAT as a fully-established university center with funding from the Graduate School, VIPRIT, and the Provost.
As a university center, CFAT is working toward becoming better integrated with our CSU colleagues and the Fort Collins community. At CSU, we have invited faculty and students from a wide range of fields – political science, agricultural economics, business, and applied sciences – to participate in our seminars and research projects or join as associate faculty. In Fort Collins, we are working with a number of local organizations, the Fort Collins City Government, and the Downtown Development Authority on a project called the Conscious Consumer Trust which will work to educate local schools, community groups, and businesses on global trade and development issues and the options available for market based social change.
In addition to our local collaborations, our international partnerships continue to be vital to our work. We collaborate on research and policy analyses with a number of colleagues and practitioners from universities, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and businesses throughout the world.
Lastly, we could not have completed our work without the generous financial support provided by the following organizations:
- John D. & Catherine A. MacArthur Foundation
- Ford Foundation
- Bohemian Foundation
- International Institute for Education
- Mennonite Central Committee
- Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP)/ International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
- Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority
- National Science Foundation (NSF)