South Africa becomes full member in global Fairtrade system
On 13 October 2011, the General Assembly of Fairtrade International officially voted Fairtrade Label South Africa (FLSA) to become a full member of the global Fairtrade sytem raising FLSA’s status from associate member (which they had been since April 2009).
The decision comes after two years of amazing growth for Fairtrade in South Africa, which saw the introduction of Fairtrade labelled products in the local market and the promotion of Fairtrade amongst local consumers and stakeholders. Fairtrade sales in South Africa grew exponentially in 2010 and reached an estimated R 18,4 million, up from R 5,7 million in 2009.
“We are the first Fairtrade Marketing Organisation in an emerging market to become a full member of Fairtrade International and we are proud to clear the way to other emerging markets for the next years,” said Boudewijn Goossens, FLSA’s executive director. “This is a major step for the international Fairtrade system and we look forward assisting other emerging markets such as Kenya and Brazil in achieving the same growth and recognition.”
As a full member, FLSA is elegible for voting rights in Fairtrade International’s General Assembly, the highest decision-making body in Fairtrade.
In the next few years, FLSA will continue to develop the local market for South African and African Fairtrade products and increase awareness and visibility in the public.
A wide variety of Fairtrade labelled wines are already sold in local shops and the first Fairtrade chocolate, Cadbury's Dairy Milk, will be launched in the local market during Fairtrade Week, which starts on 14 November 2011. The focus for the next year will be to expand the coffee category and grow opportunities for tea, fresh fruit, flowers and sugar.
The decision on Fairtrade South Africa wasn't the only big announcement to come out of the Fairtrade General Assembly. Producers also became half owners of the entire Fairtrade system. Read that story here.
Check out Fairtrade Near You to learn about other members of the global Fairtrade system.