Taiwan’s President Declares Her Support for Fairtrade
President Tsai Ying-Wen expressed the Taiwanese Government’s backing for Fairtrade during a visit by Dario Soto Abril, Fairtrade’s Global CEO, to the country’s parliament on 10 April.
Accompanied by Karen Yu, CEO of Fairtrade Taiwan, and Molly Harriss Olson, Chief Executive Officer of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, Soto Abril discussed with President Tsai Ying-Wen the potential of Fairtrade to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“In the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations, there are many sustainable development indicators which could be advanced through Fairtrade,” said President Tsai Ying-Weng in her speech. “These include poverty eradication, gender equality, employment and economic growth, inequality improvement and so on. In particular, the indicator on ‘responsible consumption and production’ is directly related to fair trade”.
Fairtrade sales and consumer recognition have been growing steadily in Taiwan over the last few years. A wide range of Fairtrade products are already on sale, including coffee, tea, chocolate, olive oil, sugar, ice cream and spices. Fairtrade Taiwan hopes to expand the range further in future to include more food products and textiles. In addition, the capital Taipei has worked hard to achieve Fair Trade City status, an important step to boost the recognition of Fairtrade among its more than 6 million inhabitants.
“There are many enterprises, stores, and even schools directly involved with the international Fairtrade system,” stated President Tsai Ying-Weng. “Fairtrade is becoming well-known among the public. The Taiwanese government is willing to continue to help promote it, encouraging more enterprises to invest in Fairtrade and raising awareness among consumers.”
“I believe that Fairtrade is both an economic and ethical model, and Taiwan is willing to continue to explore it. I look forward to getting new inspiration from you,” concluded the President.
“It was an honour to meet with the President. Her recognition and support for Fairtrade was very encouraging", said Soto Abril. “We need more governments, business and civil society to join us so we can achieve our vision of a world where trade can be a true tool of opportunity and inclusion for all”.
Following his visit to Taiwan, Dario Soto Abril travelled to Singapore where he met with Fairtrade representatives from across the Asia Pacific region, including Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, India, Hong Kong, Philippines, South Korea and Taiwan. This was a great opportunity for key stakeholders to meet and to collaborate on increasing Fairtrade’s reach and impact in the region.