EP President makes statement on World Fair Trade Day

Jerzy Buzek, President of the European
Parliament, displays his support for Fairtrade

17 May 2011

Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, released a statement in honor of World Fair Trade Day expressing support for Fair Trade initiatives.

“World Fair Trade Day is a good opportunity for the European Parliament to show its support to the Fair Trade Organization and related stakeholders’ actions. The WFTO volunteers, activists and campaigners shoulder to shoulder strive to raise awareness of the importance of consumer choice in supporting marginalised producers and workers in the South.

“The global economic recession, food crisis and climate change affect disproportionally the world’s most vulnerable. With more than a third of the world’s population living in poverty, the global crisis cements the need for a fair and sustainable economy both locally and globally. Fair Trade is not about charity: it is about making trade work for development and fighting against exploitation and exclusion of those whose voices are barely heard - children, women and indigenous peoples.

“Europe is the hub of Fair Trade: between 60% and 70% of global fair trade sales take place here. The European Parliament’s support of Fair Trade reflects clearly the attitude of EU citizens. Certificates and labels now enable more and more EU citizens to knowingly choose Fair Trade products.

“I am very proud that the European Parliament has been closely involved in the debate through its policy discussions and resolutions. The cross-party Fair Trade Working Group at the European Parliament shows the strong commitment of our institution in this regard. Even our own cafeterias and restaurants offer a wide range of Fairtrade certified products. Consumer awareness can be a powerful tool for the construction of a more equitable world. Today it should serve as a reminder of the change that our daily actions can bring.

“Fair trade does not mean that all other trade is "unfair". However, it provides for certain guarantees regarding the production methods and the value chain, thus contributing to empowering both marginalised producers and the consumers.”

World Fair Trade Day was celebrated around the globe on Saturday, 14 May. You can also see Buzek's statement here.

 
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