How Fair Trade USA™ uses Modelit to scale up its team.

Who they are

Fair Trade USA™

Fair Trade USA is the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified™ seal on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains. Rather than creating dependency on aid, Fair Trade USA’s model empowers farmers, workers, and fishers to alleviate poverty and earn additional money to improve their communities. They needed a reliable partner to help them evolve their business into the Salesforce platform in order to maximize their positive impact. The main goal was to achieve stronger technological capabilities.

Oakland, CA, USA
2016 - Present
The challenge

Founded in 1998, Fair Trade USA has been building an innovative model for responsible business and conscious consumerism — with a common goal to eliminate poverty and enable sustainable development for farmers, workers, their families, and their communities around the world.

In 2016, they made the decision to further invest in the Salesforce platform and needed to quickly assemble a skilled team to build solutions.  

Having worked with offshore teams in the past, they found that such teams would often fall short of meeting Fair Trade’s standards.  As a complex company, they needed an external team that could keep up with their staff on a daily basis and come through with the expected results. 

They later realized that Modelit’s engagement model and proven tech capabilities were exactly what they had been missing!

The culture of Modelit— where employee happiness, balance, and respect are prioritized — is evident in the members that join our teams.
Matt Pope
Director of Engineering, Fair Trade USA
The solution

Before working with us, Fair Trade USA had already been using Salesforce for several years. So, alongside their team, we began by defining their needs and determining exactly how we could help them to thrive.  We swiftly joined forces with their growing, internal technical team and offered the assistance necessary for bringing their vision to life.  

Our extensive experience within the Salesforce platform helped Fair Trade USA immensely.  They were able to cut back on the time it would have otherwise taken them to develop such proficiency internally.  Not to mention, working with Modelit proved to be the more cost-effective choice when compared to local Bay Area tech experts.

In the beginning, we had only 1 person working with the Fair Trade USA team.  Then 2 more resources joined on, and it continued to grow from there. We provided skills and experience on the platform, and we also allowed Fair Trade USA to add capabilities in a fast and flexible way.  We processed a large amount of data, while also managing to deliver great solutions for them. We experienced the most significant growth in 2020, as the team dedicated to working with Fair Trade USA grew to 12 members. 

With Modelit’s smooth and effective onboarding process for newly recruited team members, the integration of those new members with the existing Fair Trade USA team was made easy.  Over the years, Fair Trade USA has held onto team members that have developed a solid relationship with the company while proving themselves as valuable resources.

Modelit has acted as a strong force over the years, offering knowledgeable resources which have allowed for the smart and swift growth of the Fair Trade movement.

Modelit has provided an ability to scale and adapt quickly, as the technology roadmap needed to meet our needs has evolved to reflect our internal vision as an organization.
Matt Pope
Director of Engineering, Fair Trade USA
How we helped
At the end of this process,
Fair Trade USA™
  • Knowledge of how to make best use of technology to drive positive impact and make progress toward goals. 
  • Automated systems to date collection and analysis and to support partners' interactions.
  • An expanded, dedicated team from 1 to 12 members. 

Best of all, Fair Trade USA and Modelit continue to share a positive technology partnership today. 

From the start, we were able to establish a foundational level of trust between leadership at both Fair Trade USA and Modelit.  Together we adopted a highly integrated and collaborative approach, from individual contributors up to management.  Our collaboration continues to thrive as we stay focused on building a tech-driven future for Fair Trade USA.  

We are excited to see what the future holds for this partnership!

We look forward to continuing to build on the foundation of quality that we have established with Modelit over the last 5 years. We look to both the leadership, and to the people working side-by-side with our staff, to bring innovation and improvements to the way we do our work and ultimately drive the impact we are able to have on the lives of farmers and workers around the world.
Matt Pope
Director of Engineering, Fair Trade USA


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