Interview with Colette Cosner

Colette Cosner's travel to the global south and back ignited her commitment to fair trade advocacy, and informs her current role as the Executive Director of the Domestic Fair Trade Association.

~~Q: Who are you? Introduce yourself as you would at a dinner party.


A: Hi. I'm Colette. I'm the Executive Director of the Domestic Fair Trade Association, a natioinal coalition dedicated to a more healthful, just, and sustainable food and farming system. I am also a graduate student in the University of Washington's Communication in Digital Media program. I'm originally from the east coast but have lived in Seattle for the last six years.

Q: What is your background? How does it differ from what you are doing now?

A: I studied Spanish in undergrad, an endeavor that led to living much of my early 20's in and out of Mexico. During that time I witnessed first-hand the impact of US foreign policy in the global south, especially the devastation that neo-liberal free trade policies have on rural communities and forced migration. In other words, it took me a while to realize where I most needed to be was in my own backyard.

Q: What are you working on right now?

A: The Domestic Fair Trade Association has an important project called Fair Facts- a website dedicated to consumer education about fair trade and social justice food labels. One of the biggest issues in the good food movement is that consumers are inundated with ethical claims of varying degrees of validity and intergrity. The DFTA conducts evaluations of these programs to help our members recognize programs/certifications that reflect the principles of domestic fair trade. Principles such as fair labor practices for workers and fair and stable prices for farmers.

Q: Why did you join Impact Hub?

A: As the only employee of my organization it is great to be surrounded by other people and have a sense of community around me.

Q: How do you make money?

A: I am the paid staff for my organization.

Q: What is something that really excites you right now (a trend, life development, time of year, food, etc.)?

A: I am really excited about an upcoming trip to the Middle East to visit my mom. She has been living there for the last coupe years and this will be my first time visiting.

Q: You have $10M to spend in the next year, and you can’t spend it on you, your friends or your family. How do you spend it?

A: I would fund my organization and other grassroots initiatives aimed at radeical systemic change.

Q: What’s on the horizon for you (a new project, career path, personal development)?

A: I am getting really into videography and am dreaming about starting a production company.

Q: Where do you usually hang out when you are at Impact Hub? How often are you here?

A: I am a part time member and you can find me anywhere. I sit in a new place each day.

Q: What is something we don’t know? (Either about you, or something else)

A: I am learning to sketch!

Q: Give us your top three Seattle gems!

A: The Hideout- Best Bar

     Joe Bar- Best Coffee

     The Hi Spot- Best Brunch



Contact Colette at [email protected] .