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.

Read more: No more business as usual: activists set Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance Launch, 26-27 June, Brussels out alternative trade agenda

European Court confirms possibility to demand Fair Trade criteria in public procurement

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.

Read more: European Court confirms possibility to demand Fair Trade criteria in public procurement

Fairtrade Access Fund To Provide Long-Term Loans To Smallholder Farmers

24 April 2012 (Brussels, Bonn Washington D.C., Seattle) - Incofin Investment Management, Fairtrade International and Grameen Foundation announced they are establishing the first fund to focus on the unmet demand of smallholder farmers for longterm loans. Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) joins as the Fund's first anchor private investor with a $1.3m (€1m) commitment. The Fund will offer investors both financial and demonstrable social results.

The full press release can be found here.

New report offers ways forward for Europe in tackling supply chain abuse

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.

Read more: New report offers ways forward for Europe in tackling supply chain abuse

European Commission’s “modern” proposal on trade and development is the same old story

27 January 2012 (Brussels) – Today the European Commission (EC) published its new EU trade and development plan. While welcoming the commitments to support small producers and fair, organic and ethical trade initiatives, the Fair Trade movement regrets the lack of commitment to mainstream Fair Trade principles across EU policies.

The Communication on “Trade, Growth and Development” aims to “modernise” the existing EU trade and development policy, dating back from 2002. However, the resulting policy is a continuation of the “business as usual” trade policy, sugarcoated with development aid to help to “swallow the pill” of the EU trade liberalisation agenda.

Read more: European Commission’s “modern” proposal on trade and development is the same old story

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