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News

8 October 2014 (Brussels) – The European Parliament Fair Trade Working Group hosted a Fair Trade Breakfast todayLarge numbers of renowned and new Members of the European Parliament attended in support of Fair Trade, marking a successful start to the new legislative term.

Linda McAvan, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Development and of the Fair Trade Working Group, welcomed the 50 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all major political groups, officials from Permanent Representations of European Union Member States, as well as Fair Trade movement actors and network representatives. Linda McAvan went on to introduce the new Vice Chairs of this cross-party group of MEPs working together for EU policies in support of Fair Trade: Sirpa Pietikäinen, Judith Sargentini, Charles Goerens and Helmut Scholz. She highlighted the work that the Fair Trade Working Group had done in the last legislature and the challenges that now lay ahead for Fair Trade in the European Parliament.

    Educating the audience about various aspects of Fair Trade (from left to right): Sergi Corbalán, Nyagoy Nyong’o, Linda                                         McAvan and Giorgio Dal Fiume. For picture with higher resolution click here. 

Amongst the speakers addressing the crowd was Bernd Lange, the Chair of the Committee on International Trade in the European Parliament, who spoke about the importance of fairness in international trade. In her keynote speech Nyagoy Nyong’o, Executive Director of Fairtrade Africa presented the work of her organisation for Fairtrade certified producers in Africa. Giorgio Dal Fiume, President of the World Fair Trade Organization–Europe presented in his speech what Fair Trade Organisations in Europe are doing to raise awareness and support small producers in the South.

 While listening to the speeches MEPs and Fair Trade actors enjoyed breakfast with Fair Trade ingredients. For picture with higher resolution click here.

The event took place during Fair Trade week in Belgium - an initiative of the Belgium Development Cooperation – and the Vote for Fair Trade campaign which is funded by the European Commission and includes Fair Trade organisations from around Europe to advocate together for Fair Trade.
 
“It is time for the EU to give prominence to this topic by putting forward a European Strategy for Fair Trade which will contribute to giving much needed coherence to EU policies in trade and development, especially taking opportunity of the upcoming European Year for Development in 2015.” concluded Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office.
A pdf version of this press release can be found here.
A video about this event can be found here:
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The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) speaks out on behalf of the Fair Trade movement for Fair Trade and Trade Justice with the aim to improve the livelihoods of marginalised producers and workers in the South. The FTAO is a joint initiative of Fairtrade International, the European Fair Trade Association and the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe. Through these three networks the FTAO represents an estimate of 2.5 million Fair Trade producers and workers from 70 countries, 24 labelling initiatives, over 500 specialised Fair Trade importers, 4,000 World Shops and more than 100,000 volunteers.

Contact:
Peter Möhringer | moehringer@fairtrade-advocacy.org | Tel: +32 (0)2 54 31 92 3

Fair Trade Advocacy Office | Village Partenaire - bureau 1 | 15 rue Fernand Bernierstraat | 1060 Brussels – Belgium www.fairtrade-advocacy.org

15 July 2014 (Brussels) - The European Parliament has elected today Jean-Claude Juncker as new President of the European Commission. Mr Juncker, a self-declared Fair Trade-enthusiast, is the first Commission President to have endorsed a Fair Trade Manifesto ahead of his appointment. The Fair Trade movement calls on Mr Juncker to add ensure the new College of Commissioners puts in place an enabling policy environment for Fair Trade across EU policies.

Joomla JCJ bubble4  Joomla JCJ manifesto

Click here and here for higher resolution pictures of Mr Jean-Claude Juncker endorsing the Votefor Fair Trade Manifesto on 9 April 2014.

Following today’s election by the European Parliament of Jean-Claude Juncker as new President of the European Commission, the Fair Trade movement congratulates Mr. Juncker for being the first President of the European Commission to have committted to support Fair Trade ahead of his appointment.

In his earlier position as Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr Juncker “enthusiastically” supported Fair Trade, as he told the Fair Trade movement in a video interview on 9 April 2014, ahead of the European elections. On this occasion, he also stated “we have to introduce this dimension, the dimension of Fair Trade into our trade policies and into part of our trade agreements with others in the world. Fair Trade is a real issue”.

Jean-Louis Zeien, President of the Board of Fairtrade Luxembourg stated: “Jean-Claude Juncker has been supporting Fair Trade for twenty years, since the Fairtrade Labelling initiative was set up in Luxembourg in 1992. When he was Prime Minister, his administration was one of the first to purchase Fair Trade coffee. During a Fair Trade breakfast in May 2008, at the Château de Senningerberg with the government of Luxembourg, he made a declaration in favour of integrating Fair Trade in public procurement.”.

Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, stated “We are thankful for the support that Mr Juncker gave to Fair Trade as Prime Minister of Luxembourg”.

The Fair Trade movement calls on Mr Juncker to put in place an enabling policy environment for Fair Trade across EU policies during his mandate as President of the European Commission..“We call on Mr Juncker to pass on his enthusiasm for Fair Trade to the new team of Commissioners” said Corbalán.

The upcoming European Year for Development in 2015, during which Luxembourg will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, will provide a timely opportunity for the European Commission, and the government of Luxembourg, to put Fair Trade on the EU table. 

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Mr Juncker at a Fair Trade breakfast organised by Fairtrade Luxembourg on 9 May 2008 in SenningenLuxembourg. Click here for a higher resolution picture.

A pdf version of this press release can be found here.

Contact:

Sergi Corbalán | Executive Director

Tel: +32 (0) 2 543 19 23 | corbalan@fairtrade-advocacy.org

Fair Trade Advocacy Office

Village Partenaire - bureau 1 | Rue Fernand Bernierstraat, 15 | 1060 - Brussels - Belgium

www.fairtrade-advocacy.org/vote4ft-campaign

The after-elections update: find out how many candidates who signed the Fair Trade Manifesto have been elected in the next European Parliament on the following interactive map.

The Vote for Fair Trade campaign has brought Fair Trade organisations from around Europe to advocate together for Fair Trade to be included in the policy agenda of the European Union, asking candidates running for the European Parliament´s elections to sign the Fair Trade Manifesto, committing to five main demands. If elected Members of the European Parliament for the 2014-2019 legislative term, the candidates pledged to:

  1. Promote a people-centred economy and people-centred businesses where people come first and economic activities support sustainable livelihoods for all.
  2. Back 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.
  3. Encourage market-based incentives to facilitate producers having the possibility to trade under Fair Trade conditions and the development of Fair Trade markets both in Europe and the South, in the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Framework post-2015.
  4. Support an “Alternative Trade Mandate” to ensure that EU trade policy serves as a tool to increase economic, social and environmental well-being globally. In order to serve the general interest, trade policy should be subject to democratic and transparent debate, rather than being driven by powerful business lobbies pushing behind doors their specific short-term interests.
  5. Become a champion for a European strategy for Fair Trade to promote best practices and coordinate local, regional, national and EU-level activities in support of Fair Trade, as already asked for unanimously by the Committee of the Regions.

The campaign collected 512 candidates´ signatures, and 118 out of them were elected Members of the new European Parliament for the term 2014-2019. We heartily thank the campaigners who took action and the candidates who pledged to the Fair Trade Manifesto, congratulating with the ones who have been elected.

The Fair Trade movement will be working with the newly elected MEPs to make sure the commitments made during the elections are transformed into actual policy changes.

For more information on the Vote4FT campaign, click here. 

Ernest Urtasun, European Green Party, Spain from Fair Trade Advocacy Office on Vimeo.

Watch more videos from Fair Trade Advocacy Office on Vimeo.


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