Privacy Policy Uncategorised

Civil society coalition delivers to Commissioner Barnier 40,000 petitions demanding the end of Unfair Trading Practices

On Monday 9 December over 40,000 petitions asking the EU to take action against abuses of power in supply chains were handed in by a wide coalition of European and Latin American organisations to the European Union’s (EU) Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Michael Barnier. The date of the hand-in was set in the same week that the European Parliament votes in Plenary on its report on the Green Paper on Unfair Trading Practices which is part of the Retail Action Plan.

3. Barnier hand-in EC all partners credited 800x533

The coalition behind the petition is strongly convinced that only a “watchdog with teeth” can end Unfair Trading Practices. Without an ombudsman with pan-European coordination capabilities to which suppliers and buyers can appeal to anonymously, abuses will continue having a negative impact on farmers and workers. Out of experience it has been proven that a voluntary initiative will not work as self-regulation has been promised since 2010 and nothing has improved over these three years. The ombudsman should also at least be capable to initiate investigations, apply sanctions, and shame the perpetrators.

The delegation that handed in the postcards and signatures included Adela Torres, Deputy Coordinator of COLSIBA – the Latin American Coordinating Body for Banana and Agro-industrial Unions. She has witnessed first-hand the impact of Unfair Trading Practices in European supply chains on workers in Latin America and came to Brussels to share her experience.

“We call on the EU to put in place a strong European framework to address abuses of buyer power in our supply chains, a market failure that often results in the violation of human rights of marginalised producers and workers” said Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office.

The campaign was launched in 17 European and Latin American countries by a coalition of civil society organisations in Europe and trade unions in the suppliers’ countries. Coalition members are Traidcraft (UK), Via Campesina (International Peasants’ Movement), Peuples Solidaires (France), Fairfood International, Oxfam Germany, SOMO (Netherlands), TVE (Hungary), Christliche Initiative Romero (Germany), Consumers International (UK) and COLSIBA.

Commissioner Barnier chose to give a public reply to the thousands of messages. 

Fair Trade Breakfast in the European Parliament 3/10/12: focus on Public Procurement

7 September 2012 (Brussels)For the third year in a row, the European Parliament will host a Fair Trade Breakfast which will take place on 3 October 2012 in the context of the Fair Trade Week in Belgium, an initiative of the Belgium Development Cooperation.

This year the focus will be on public procurement, taking into account that the public procurement Directives are currently under revision and that the Commission has recently proposed a regulation on "the access of third-country goods and services to the Union’s internal market and procedures supporting negotiations on access of Union goods and services to the markets of third countries", also known as 'reciprocity initiative'.

The event will be hosted by Linda McAvan, a British MEP chairing the European Parliament Fair Trade Working Group. The founder of the Fair Trade Towns campaign, Bruce Crowther, will present this success story of more than thousand communities across the world that are already committed to the Fair Trade principles and include Fair Trade criteria in their public purchases. This will be followed by a discussion led by Sergi Corbalán, the Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, on how public authorities can be enabled in making this pro-development choice through the future procurement rules affecting the internal market and the access of third-country goods and services to the European Union.

The Fair Trade Breakfast will take place at the Member's Restaurant of the European Parliament from 8h to 9h30.

For further information, please contact Marco Cosa,


International Women’s Day 2012

Improving the relative position of women, equal pay for equivalent work, and full participation of women decision making are some of the core principles from the Fair Trade movement. Therefore, for the occasion of International Women’s Day, we like to share with you some of the stories of the amazing women inside the Fair Trade movement. For facts about the grave inequality between men and women in the world, and for inspirational stories from Fair Trade women in the South click here.



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