Does Fair Trade contribute to sustainable development? – Audience reactions

What did participants in the April Briefing think of the discussions? We asked a few for their reactions. H.E. Ambassador Cuello Camilo, from the Dominican Republic, found the briefing "enlightening" to understand challenges and potentials of Fair Trade for developing countries. In particular, referring to the recently signed EPA between the EU and the Dominican … Continue reading Does Fair Trade contribute to sustainable development? – Audience reactions

Fair Trade must be a partnership approach

Acknowledging the benefits of Fair Trade labelling schemes, Moctar Fall of Interface Trading pointed out some of the limits and difficulties experienced by small and most disadvantaged producers. He reminded participants in the Brussels Briefing that Fair Trade should remain a partnership approach that integrates the interests of all stakeholders. (video in French) Due to … Continue reading Fair Trade must be a partnership approach

Fair Trade and the EP

Chairing the first panel of the Briefing on Fair Trade, MEP Linda McAvan stressed the commitment of the European Parliament to Fair Trade. Ms. McAvan recalled the establishment of the Fair Trade working group and the adoption of a Fair Trade resolution in 2006. Her personal commitment has a longer history, she remembers buying Fair … Continue reading Fair Trade and the EP

Fair Trade cotton from West and Central Africa

Mamadou Ouattara of the Association of African Cotton Producers (AProCA) provided a very specific perspective on Fair Trade to the recent Brussels Briefing. He pointed out the benefits and challenges of Fair Trade schemes for West and Central African cotton producers. AProCA was set up in 2004 to defend the interests of African producers against … Continue reading Fair Trade cotton from West and Central Africa

Belgium’s Fair Trade Centre

How do European governments support Fair Trade schemes? Samuel Poos from the Belgian Technical Cooperation introduces the 'Fair Trade Centre' programme. (video in French) The 'Fair Trade Centre' Programme has four main components: The Fair Trade week: From 1 until 11 October, the Fair Trade Week takes places in Belgium. It aims to increase awareness … Continue reading Belgium’s Fair Trade Centre

Fair Trade or food miles?

At the April 2008 Brussels Development Briefing, Natalie Berg of PlanetRetail shed light on the ways that retailers, supermarkets and manufacturers are dealing with Fair Trade issues. Yet, consumers are still confused - the 'food miles' debate is challenging the success of Fair Trade in the grocery sector. The global market for Fair Trade products … Continue reading Fair Trade or food miles?

Fair Trade goes mainstream

Stephanie Ware Barrientos (University of Manchester) gave participants in the Brussels Development Briefing an analysis of Fair Trade in the mainstream of food retailing. She focused on three questions: Why did Fair Trade and ethical consumerism grew into the mainstream? How does Fair Trade relate to other ethical sourcing schemes? What are the challenges and … Continue reading Fair Trade goes mainstream

Fair Trade needs clear public policy support

Anja Osterhaus of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office acknowledged that Fair Trade as an alternative business model is not perfect, nor can it solve all the problems in this area. But it shows that more just trading systems are possible. It should therefore be supported by public policy to ensure that fair trade standards and … Continue reading Fair Trade needs clear public policy support

Multi-stakeholder approaches to Fair Trade

Christopher Wunderlich introduced the Sustainable Commodity Initiative - a multi-stakeholder platform facilitated by UNCTAD and IISD. He argued that the success of Fair Trade has brought new dynamics into the wider trade sector. Supply chain concentration is increasing, and end-markets are shifting to new countries. To respond to the complexity of the issues at stake, … Continue reading Multi-stakeholder approaches to Fair Trade

Supporting fair traders and consumers

Together with Liselotte Isaksson from the European Commission and Viwanou Gnassounou from the ACP Secretariat, Dr. Hansjörg Neun, Director of CTA, opened the 5th Brussels Development Briefing asking "can Fair Trade contribute to sustainable development?" Dr. Neun referred to Louis Michel's words on the "Tsunami affecting food pricing". Rising food prices, which hit developing countries … Continue reading Supporting fair traders and consumers