Requesting suppliers to meet Fairtrade Standards isn’t against free market competition

29 November 2007

Friday, 23 November 2007

The fact that governments and other public institutions require their coffee suppliers to meet Fairtrade Standards does not undermine free competition. This is the verdict pronounced by the preliminary injunction court in the summary proceedings brought recently by Dutch coffee supplier, Douwe Egberts, against the Province of Groningen in the Netherlands. Douwe Egberts instigated proceedings because of the requirement in the purchasing policy of the Province of Groningen that all the coffee they buy should bear the Fairtrade Certification Mark. Douwe Egberts allegated that was discriminatory as it was excluding other coffee suppliers.

FLO International and it member Labelling Initiatives are very pleased by the tribunal decision as it gives governmental institutions the freedom to require suppliers to provide coffee that bears the Fairtrade Certification Mark, an independent guarantee that coffee farmers in developing countries are receiving a price that covers their cost of sustainable production and a Fairtrade Premium to be invested back in the development of their communities.

To find out more about this court case, you can read the press release from Max Havelaar Netherlands, FLO member Labelling Initiative in the Netherlands.

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