EU offices around the world help promote Fair Trade
12 September 2018
Last week, I had a meeting with a number of EU Ambassadors - who head the EU offices all over the world and are responsible for overseeing huge development aid programmes - to find out what they are doing to promote Fair Trade on the ground in the countries where they are posted. After so many years working on Fair trade, it’s good to see projects being championed by senior EU officials. In India, for example, the EU office is running a Fair Trade awareness raising campaign for local businesses. In Bangladesh, one of the world’s major clothes exporters, the EU office is working with organisations of garment buyers. In Brazil, the EU supported a Fair and Ethical Trade forum and a second one will take place in Recife - which is becoming a Fair Trade city - in December.
Closer to home , the Commission is funding a 3 year Trade Fair Live Fair programme which aims to increase awareness of Fair Trade across the EU by funding projects such as the EU Fairtrade Town campaign. Compared with where we were a few years ago, it’s good to see the EU taking fairness in the supply chain much more seriously. There is still a long way to go. Fair Trade is only a small part of the market, though growing. However, what we need is a broader commitment from EU businesses to clean up their supply chains so that our trading relations with the global south are based on fair principles and not exploitative trade and bring real benefit to producers and their families.