Archive for August, 2014

The benefits of Fairtade

Posted on August 27, 2014. Filed under: Reports |

A recent Government-funded SOAS report has suggested that the benefits of Fairtrade do not reach very far.  In response Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation said:

Fairtrade acknowledges that landless agricultural workers are a most disadvantaged group and therefore a difficult group to reach.  SOAS’s new report highlights the need for a concerted, systematic and coordinated effort to improve conditions for temporary and casual workers.  These most vulnerable of people are being failed by all parties – local and international governments, trade unions, NGOs and companies.  Fairtrade is committed to playing its part in addressing the associated challenges ahead.

Fairtrade aims to work with farmers on Fairtrade-certified small farms to ensure that secure and stable incomes meet their needs and those of the workers.  The SOAS report fails to recognise this.  If a farm is selling a small fraction of its produce as Fairtrade and the rest on the conventional market, there is very little of the extra money from Faitrade sale to go towards projects lie healthcare and sanitation.  Fairtrade works incrementally – it is trade, not aid, after all.

Fairtrade cannot solve all the problems of rural development.  Our aim is to reach more people and deepen the impact that Fairtrade can have.  To make progress we need to increase the market for Fairtrade products.  This is something that we are committed to, in order to achieve greater benefits for farmers and workers in developing countries.

When people reach for a product with the FAIRTRADE mark, they are making a proven difference to the lives of the people who produce them.  To have an even greater impact we need more of those customers and more companies and donors – to back Fairtrade.

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