Friday, 25 May 2007

Fairtrade Foundation replies to the BBC - missed opportunity?

There was a response published on the Fairtrade web site on 23rd May to the news item about Pratt's Bananas, fairtrade and the exploitation of migrant workers.

I welcome the action taken in writing a letter to the company concerned and urging them to join the Ethical Trading Initiative but the rest of letter really is about damage limitation to the FAIRTRADE mark and the Foundation.

Using technicalities as a defence is not sufficient. We consumers used to trust the FAIRTRADE mark and saw the Fairtrade Foundation as custodians of fair trade.

Why don't they accept some responsibility here and see this as an opportunity to improve and make the FAIRTRADE mark and scheme even better?

We consumers see a fairtrade sticker on bananas and we assume that it means the whole supply chain supports the high standards of fair trade.

Why not evolve the labelling scheme to also become an international standard for ethical supply throughout the supply chain, from producer to consumer, as well as for fairtrade products?
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