10 November 2012 (Poznan) - The Mayor of Poznan launched today the Fair Trade Beyond 2015 Campaign, at the 6th International Fair Trade Towns Conference held in Poland. The Campaign is expected to achieve global results, uniting local leaders, civil society and the private sector in a call for just and ethical trade rules and practices to be incorporated in the future development framework that will take on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, when they expire in 2015.
There is an ongoing global debate on what the future development framework beyond 2015 should look like. As a part of the discussions, the Fair Trade movement places two essential elements on the development agenda: trade and partnerships.
The European Union should walk the road from Rio + 20 hand in hand with marginalised producers and workers
25 June 2012 (Brussels) – The Rio+20 Summit concluded on 22 June 2012 with disappointing results. The European Union must now take leadership in the follow-up actions agreed at the Summit, namely the development of Sustainable Development Goals, which must be people-centered. Achieving such goals will require a wide set of EU policy and market-led measures, including support to the uptake of Fair Trade.
The outcomes document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20 Summit) has been criticised by civil society and policy-makers alike for its lack of ambition and of action-oriented decisions. Even the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated “the efforts have not lived up the measure of the challenge” and urged world leaders to take action.
Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office stated “The Fair Trade movement calls on the European Union to take up the challenge by the United Nations Secretary General and provide the necessary leadership on the road from the Rio +20 towards the adoption of people-centered Sustainable Development Goals”.
Despite the shortcomings of the Summit’s outcomes document, the Fair Trade movement welcomes the recognition to the contribution to sustainable development played by small-scale farmers and its emphasis on the need to enhance employment and income opportunities for all, especially for women and men living in poverty and to ensure that workers have access to education, skills, healthcare, social security, and fundamental rights at work.
The European Union has already recognised that Fair Trade is a valuable market-driven tool to foster sustainable and inclusive growth in developing countries. “The Fair Trade movement looks forward to working with the European Union to increase the number of producers that are able to trade under Fair Trade terms and to create a shift in the market place towards more sustainable consumption, both in the EU and in the Global South”, concluded Sergi Corbalán.
Contact: Sergi Corbalán - Executive Director - Fair Trade Advocacy Office. Rue Fernand Bernierstraat 15 – 1060 Brussels – Belgium. Tel: +32 (0) 4 73 540 741. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The press release can be downloaded as PDF here.
10 May 2012 (Brussels) - Two days before World Fair Trade Day, the Court of Justice of the European Union provides much-needed legal clarification by confirming that Fair Trade criteria can be included in public procurement. This confirms the practice across the European Union by contracting authorities and cannot be ignored in the current revision of the EU Public Procurement Directive.
No more business as usual: activists set Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance Launch, 26-27 June, Brussels out alternative trade agenda
22 June 2012 (Brussels) - Fuelled by short-term interest and over-inflated financial markets, the current neo-liberal trade model is generating increasing inequality across Europe and the developing world. As outrage builds about the parlous state of our economies, a critical mass of European activists are pushing for a radical alternative to the EU trade agenda.
25 April 2012 - A new report has identified how the European Union can take steps to ensure fair play in the grocery market. The report, which was commissioned by international and European organisations concerned with the how the food sector currently impacts upon on farmers, workers and consumers, looks at how EU member states tackle unfair commercial practices in dealings between retailers and suppliers.
Of 15 member states reviewed, 10 have already taken steps to inhibit unfair and imbalanced commercial relationships using a combination of both soft and hard legislative measures. Five other Member states are currently in the process of implementing measures to address the same problem. Two member states have already had to ratchet up their policy solutions, because their initial solutions developed were too soft.