The benefits of fair trade

Just now we talk abut Fair-Trade and Innovative Financing Mechanisms for Sustainable Development in the Second Committee in IPU, Quebec, Canada.

Trade has a fundamental role to play in the creation of wealth but it is important to find the right mechanisms – instead of creating dependency on aid, we should aim for equal trade.

Also from a gender perspective, this is important - women very often take a major financial responsibility for the family and the society as a whole – but they are often paid very low or not paid at all for their labor work.

It is important to maintain the standards of the International Labour Organization – meaning that the workers have decent salaries and working conditions and that no child labour or discrimination exist.

We should not forget how goods are transported around the world to reach our consumers. Drivers who run these products are often very poorly paid, some get no salary at all, may drive without a break and rest and get no opportunity to sleep, they live in slave-like conditions That should not be allowed.

I also want to add the example of Fair Trade cities that some municipalities in Sweden are working with. This model comes from the UK and is about ethical public procurement.

It is a diploma/certificate given to those municipalities who are involved with fair trade and ethical consumption.

I have an idea that could lead to a fair world. I think authorities in our countries - both on local and national level - as well as organizations and companies should set clear goals and targets when it comes to public procurement– in the end all goods and services must be fair trade. It is a major goal with high ambitions and therefore we need to take it step by step, setting higher targets year by year.

For example, it could be that the first year, 10% of all purchases should be fair trade productions, the next year 20%, and the year after the 30% etc.

In that way it take the world 10 years to be fair.


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