23 June 2017
Lebanese Culinary Consortium Builds U.S. Trade Ties
Fair Trade Lebanon (FTL), a U.S.-funded consortium of hundreds of agro-producers and farmers from marginalized communities in Lebanon, made its American debut at a June 22 event showcasing authentic Lebanese food products for U.S. vendors.
Supported through a $2.9 million grant funded by the Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), FTL has made fair trade a profitable and sustainable enterprise in dozens of underserved Lebanese villages. Through its MEPI partnership, FTL has developed 79 new marketable products, trained more than 1,400 women, created nearly 450 jobs for Lebanese and Syrian women, and increased family revenues on average by 30 percent.
Exporting traditional Lebanese food products to American consumers will enable FTL to participate in the U.S. market and build U.S. trade ties. With success in the Lebanese, Emirates, and European food markets, FTL plans to begin exporting to U.S. supermarkets by December 2017.