The Fairtrade Foundation has urged Commonwealth leaders and heads of government to prioritise fairer trade practices by backing a five point plan set out at the Commonwealth Parliamentarian’s Forum on February 26, 2018
The Fairtrade Foundation has urged Commonwealth leaders and heads of government to prioritise fairer trade practices by backing a five point plan set out at the Commonwealth Parliamentarian’s Forum on February 26, 2018.
Government leaders are being asked to adopt trade policies that are guided by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and aim to improve the ethical and sustainability standards amongst producers, empower women, combat modern slavery, and promote living incomes.
The foundation warned that exploitation in global trade remained widespread and has asked Commonwealth heads of government to back the measures set out to improve the livelihoods of producers at their Summit in April.
The plan kicks off Fairtrade Fortnight, which is being marked with a “come on in” campaign this year urging customers to support farmers producing key products.
It calls on businesses, policymakers and the general public to work together to end exploitation of workers and the environment and to secure better living and working conditions for producers.
It is trying to get more people to support Fairtrade, which ensures farmers and workers get a fair price for products and a “social premium” for investment in businesses, communities and local environment.
Despite a 7% increase in overall Fairtrade sales in 2017, a poll for Fairtrade Foundation found that 26% of the 2,000 people surveyed do not consider who produces the food and drink they purchase and 46% were unaware of exploitation within the food chain.
More promisingly, however, independent data suggested that 93% of people were aware of Fairtrade and 83% trusted the mark, which is awarded as part of a certification scheme to producers who meet certain environmental and ethical standards.
Chief Executive of the Fairtrade Foundation Mike Gidney said: “When the Commonwealth Heads of Government meet in London this April we want fair trade to be top of the agenda.
“Until we find a way to tackle modern slavery, empower women and ensure producers receive a fair wage for their work, this exploitation will continue.
“The Commonwealth has the opportunity to set an example to the world.”
Read More: Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava provides a vision for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from the vantage point of his work as President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)