Fair trade pays off: Lidl is the first retailer in Germany to offer 100% Fairtrade-certified bananas in southern Germany. Since 2006, only organic bananas with the Fairtrade seal have been available nationwide. From mid-October, the conversion to conventional bananas, which previously had the Rainforest Alliance certification, will begin. In 330 Lidl branches in southern Germany, the sale of conventional bananas starts with the Fairtrade certification. In other regions, the offer will gradually be extended, the conventional fair bananas will be marked accordingly with a Fairtrade sticker. The company is therefore setting another milestone in the development of a sustainable product range and clearly taking responsibility for the sustainable production of its products and for improved living and working conditions in the producing countries.
Ghent wins first EU Fair and Ethical Trade City Award
European Commission, 27/06/2018
At a ceremony this afternoon in Brussels, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC), declared the Belgian city of Ghent as the winner of the inaugural Fair and Ethical Trade City award. Launched in December of last year, the award was created to recognise and support local initiatives currently taking place in European cities to encourage fair and ethical trading practices. Commissioner Malmström said: “Well done to Ghent, worthy winners of the first edition of this award. From a strong field of candidates, Ghent won because of the city government’s clear commitment to putting ideas into concrete practice, a packed programme of events, and its impressive pedigree as Belgium’s first Fair Trade Town. Other cities in Europe and beyond can learn from what Ghent has done. Overall, I’m deeply impressed by the candidate cities for this award – it is inspiring to see so many efforts taking place in different parts of Europe.”
U.S. Now 3rd-Biggest Market for Fairtrade Goods
The United States currently ranks as the third-largest market for Fairtrade goods, behind the United Kingdom and Germany, according to Fairtrade International’s Annual Report. U.S. sales of Fair Trade products surpassed $1 billion, while global sales rose by 8 percent to almost $9.2 billion in 2017. Also in the United States, volumes of key Fairtrade products grew significantly: Cocoa increased by 33 percent; bananas and avocados attained 51 percent and 58 percent growth, respectively; and Fairtrade coffee farmers benefited from a 24.5 percent sales rise As well as being able to sell their goods on fairer terms, farmer and worker organizations received an estimated $193 million in funds to invest in projects of their choice – a 19 percent increase from the previous year. Farmers and workers elected to invest most of the funds in infrastructure and capacity building, bonuses for farmers and workers, and community development. The release of the report comes at a time when the market price of coffee has dipped below $1 per pound for the first time in 12 years (the Fairtrade minimum price is $1.40). Cocoa also continue to be highly volatile, making it hard for farmers to plan for the future and provide for their families.
Organic Trade Board approved for share of €10.4m EU funding
Fresh Plaza, 17/01/2017
The Organic Trade Board and Organic Denmark are set to receive €10.4 million’s worth of European funding over the next three years after their joint application was approved. 70% of the fund will be spent in the UK, the trade board said, with the rest being spent elsewhere. It cited figures that showed the UK’s organic market grew by 5.6% in 2016 to a value of £1.4 billion, and a share of total grocery sales of 1.8%. In contrast, the non-organic sector grew by only 0.6% in the same period. But despite this, the country’s performance is far behind that of other European markets, including Denmark, where organic sales were up 18% in the second half of last year to account for 10% of all retail food sales. Average growth in organic sales across European countries is 9% per year.
MPs join calls for Sainsbury’s to keep Fairtrade label
The Daily Telegraph, 07/07/2017
Sainsbury’s faced mounting pressure not to axe the Fairtrade label in favour of its own “Fairly Traded” brand on Friday, as a group of more than 40 MPs signalled their support for the established scheme. A parliamentary motion backed by a cross party group, which includes Green party co-leader Caroline Lucas and Conservative MP Peter Bottomley, said the House “deeply regrets the decision by the supermarket Sainsbury’s to drop the Fairtrade mark for its own-brand tea and develop its own certification scheme”. It urged other supermarkets to “remain with and strengthen their commitment to Fairtrade certification”. In 2015, the UK market for the Fairtrade label was worth around £1.6bn in retail sales, of which around £29.8m went into a communal fund that workers and farmers could use to improve their economic, social or environmental conditions. Sainsbury’s is the world’s largest retailer of Fairtrade products, but in May launched a pilot scheme of its own “Fairly Traded” branded tea.
European Commission unveils new European Fair Trade Capital Award
On the occasion of the annual European Parliament Fair Trade Breakfast, the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has publically announced today the plan to launch a new Pan-European Fair and Ethical Trade City Award. The Fair Trade movement welcomes this new initiative and commits to support the Commission in making this Award a success. The EC “Trade for All” strategy (October 2015) includes, for the first time, a section on the promotion of Fair and Ethical Trade schemes. The EC referred in this document to the idea of a possible European-wide Fair and Ethical Trade City award, but only as a possibility. 12 months after the “Trade for All” strategy, the EU Trade Commissioner has confirmed and officially made public the new Award today. The Award´s main goals are to promote awareness amongst European citizens of Fair and Ethical Trade and to facilitate cross-country learning on the role of Local Authorities in promoting Fair and Ethical Trade. The announcement has taken place in the framework of the annual European Parliament Fair Trade breakfast, hosted by Linda McAvan, Chair of the European Parliament´s (EP) Development Committee and EP Fair Trade Working Group, together with Bernd Lange, Chair of the EP International Trade Committee. This event was attended by numerous MEPs across countries, Fair Trade movement representatives and Local Authorities committed to localising the SDGs through Fair Trade.
Exporting organic and Fairtrade cane sugar to Europe
Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI), November 2016
Opportunities for organic and Fairtrade cane sugar are increasing. Consumers are increasingly interested in healthy and natural products. This provides particularly interesting opportunities for organic and ethically sourced products. However, Fairtrade sugar exporters should be aware of increasing competition from European sugar producers due to the decrease in sugar prices following a change in European regulations.
Influencing Sustainable Sourcing Decisions in Agri-Food Supply Chains
International Trade Centre, September 2016
Sustainability initiatives are more effective and efficient when they fully engage the middle tiers of supply chains. Those creating sustainability initiatives (a standards-setting organization, government or company) will find useful guidance, including corporate approaches to sustainable sourcing, the influence of sustainability standards, and case studies on how intermediaries help expand sustainable production globally.
The new EU directives provide a better framework for social and environmental criteria in public procurement but much more is need if Member States are to put an end to a cost-centred approach. Public procurement accounts for for one-fifth of the EU’s GDP. There have been EU Directives in place since the 1970s, principally aimed at ensuring non-discrimination and transparency for economic operators wishing to bid for public contracts. Since the adoption of the EU directives on public procurement in 2014 there is now a better European framework in place for sustainable public procurement. The European Federation of Public Services (EPSU), member of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) as well as the Network for Sustainable Development in Public Procurement (NSDPP) welcomed the adoption of the new public procurement Directives as a step towards supporting public authorities to make sustainable choices and spend taxpayer’s money wisely. Importantly, the right for public authorities to provide and organize their services directly was approved and concepts of ‘in-house’ and ‘public-public cooperation’ were defined. Public procurement remains only one of many alternative ways of providing public services.