UK fair trade sugar importer launches two petitions to stop the downgrading of Fair Trade

IN DEFENCE OF FAIR TRADE, against corporate take-over – PLEASE SIGN:

  1. UK: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-downgrading-of-fair-trade
  2. WORLD: https://www.change.org/p/fairtrade-foundation-reverse-the-decision-allowing-the-ft-mark-to-remain-on-a-product-not-containing-ft-cocoa

Guest Blog by Eve Broadis

EVE BROADIS – a fair trade sugar importer and a member of WFTO

In the UK, the Fairtrade Foundation has entered into an agreement with Cadbury to allow the Fairtrade logo – with Fairtrade Foundation written below – to go on the back of the packet, giving the general public the impression that it has done its job when in fact it has been by-passed.

This watering down of the underlying principles of the Fair Trade movement and the aggressive way the FAIRTRADE Mark was first launched in the UK, without any collaboration with the grass roots movement, has prompted me to launch two petitions.

  1. UK: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-downgrading-of-fair-trade
  2. WORLD: https://www.change.org/p/fairtrade-foundation-reverse-the-decision-allowing-the-ft-mark-to-remain-on-a-product-not-containing-ft-cocoa

This is an accompanying letter to the wider UK Fair Trade movement – and possibly the global FT movement – to unite as one voice – in an attempt to return to the underlying principles of the global FT movement, now that the FAIRTRADE Mark is being surpassed by multi nationals’ own labelling initiatives.

Eve Broadis, director Fair Trade Scotland

Email: eve.broadis@fairtradescotland.co.uk
mob.: +44(0)7896298919
Skype: Fayretrade


Reverse the decision to allow the FAIRTRADE Mark to remain on a product that does not contain FAIRTRADE Cocoa.

I am Eve Broadis, a fair trade sugar importer and a member of WFTO, registered with the Fairtrade Foundation to bring FLO certified processed sugar from Malawi into Scotland – a Fair Trade Nation.  I do not believe in “putting a spin” on facts to create a sensational story.
Over the past ten years Fairtrade product certification has rocketed into the mainstream to the detriment of the authentic global grass roots movement and it is now time to step up and put the record straight.

The fact is that for the last twenty or so years the global fair trade movement has been up against the ‘new’ breed of Fairtrade Mark activists who honestly believed they were part of a new ‘Fairtrade‘ movement!  A ‘product certification mark‘ that would see every product carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark – dream on! Thankfully when the Fairtrade Towns movement was rolled out internationally, it was changed to the International Fair Trade Towns movement to include interaction by the wider FT movement.

In February 16, 2015 Mondelēz International (owner of Cadbury) and FLOCERT, the Fairtrade certification body, unveiled a partnership to verify the quantity of sustainably grown and traded cocoa and to provide verification of Cocoa Life premium payments made to farmer organizations.

Recently Cadbury’s – in the UK and Ireland – has announced it will drop out of the Fairtrade certification system prompting a possible move by other multi nationals to do the the same.

The established Fairtrade logo will no longer appear on the front of Cadbury’s chocolate packs but will be replaced by their own Cocoa Life scheme branding. The new arrangement will see the Fairtrade Foundation assist Cadbury’s owner, Mondelez, to deliver the Cocoa Life sustainability program, and a “partnering” message will go onto the back of Cadbury’s packs.
Does this means an invoice for ‘services‘ provided by FLO for monitoring versus a FT premium for producers?

Surely a partnership means both logos on the FRONT of packaging? Is this merely a ploy to convince consumers that this is progress! Multi nationals can never adhere to the ethos of Fair Trade because first and foremost they have to make profit for their shareholders and secondly Transparency and Accountability are key FT principles.

One should really understand that the Fairtrade Foundation did not start the FAIRTRADE Mark which was the idea of Frans van der Hoff and launched as a certification scheme by Max Havelaar.

It was never the intention of the certification scheme to go for volume over principles but it was a ‘tool’ to allow consumers to make a real difference to producers through their purchase. This new move, by the Fairtrade Foundation, is doing untold damage to the underlying principles of a movement that is working together to change international trade rules.

Mondelēz said cocoa premiums paid to farmers under Cocoa Life will be equivalent to Fairtrade’s fixed premium of $200 per metric ton. But the minimum Fairtrade cocoa price of $2,000 will not apply. According to the Fairtrade Foundation “it will be up to the farmers’ organisations how much they wish to sell to Cocoa Life, and whether they wish to sell their cocoa on Fairtrade terms to other companies or for other products. They will be free to trade on Fairtrade terms as long as they continue to remain Fairtrade certified themselves.

Reality on the ground is over half of cocoa grown on certified farms gets sold as conventional cocoa rather than commanding a premium price for farmers. In 2012, just 39% of cocoa produced on Fairtrade terms was sold as certified, which made € 27 per year per farmer. From the price of a block of chocolate: cocoa farmers receive 6% (down 10% since the late 1980s), manufacturers receive 70% (up 14%) and retailers receive 17% (up 5%).

Alas, while the Fairtrade Foundation does not act nor speak on behalf of the movement, consumers think they do. The global FT movement needs to become more vocal in order to take the lead again and really engage with Fair Trade through their procurement policies. For starters the Fairtrade Foundation has to reverse the decision to allow the ‘slightly adjusted wording‘ of the FAIRTRADE Mark to remain on a product that does not contain Fairtrade certified Cocoa resulting in a loss of the guaranteed FT premium to the farmers.

Please sign if you haven’t and share the UK or international petition.

WORLD: https://www.change.org/p/fairtrade-foundation-reverse-the-decision-allowing-the-ft-mark-to-remain-on-a-product-not-containing-ft-cocoa

UK: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-the-downgrading-of-fair-trade

PETITION TEXT

The global grass roots Fair Trade movement is under threat and we need to act now to dispel the myth that the Fair Trade global movement is coming to an end.

In light of the Fairtrade Foundation’s announcement that they are proud to be partnering with Cadbury, to expand their cocoa sourcing program – Cocoa Life – which will include

a FAIRTRADE Mark on a product that does not contain FAIRTRADE cocoa.
We the undersigned call on the UK and European Fair Trade movement to unite in expressing our grave concern that this is a further watering down of the Fair Trade Principles that underpin the global Fair Trade movement.

Gaining access and winning over the big players of the market was never the intention of Fair Trade. We call on ALL the Fair Trade players, in the UK and Europe, to resist the downgrading of Fair Trade by the dominant players, to a market driven charity!
The WFTO Guarantee System, developed by and for its members, guarantees the Fair Trade credentials of its members while being credible yet affordable, especially for small producers.

The alliance between producers and consumers is at the heart of fair trade; they agree to follow trade regulations in order not to harm anyone. This trade is both a rebellion and a proposal. It is a different model, a market model within the market, a powerful strategy for producers and consumers to take back the responsibility and actual power to initiate and implement trade alternatives. (Frans van der Hoff)

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