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Responsible and sustainable sourcing through fair trade

Wednesday 22 June 2016, Brussels, Belgium

June 14, 2016

The next Brussels Briefing, No. 44 in the series, will address issues relating to promoting responsible value chains and sustainable sourcing through fair trade in the agricultural sector. It will highlight the problems that currently make value chains unsustainable, particularly at the farmers' level. It will also present examples of how fair trade is promoting sustainable sourcing. 

The Briefing will take place on 22 June 2016 from 9:00 to 13:00 at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium. It has been jointly organised by CTA, the European Commission/DEVCO, the ACP Secretariat and the Fairtrade Foundation.

Value chains comprise all the activities – from producer to market – that increase the value of a product. An estimated 500 million small-scale farmers and one billion agricultural workers supply 70% of the world's food. However, the role of small-scale farmers is often forgotten in the supply chain, and so they are the ones to suffer the most from unfair trading practices. Among other challenges, they commonly lack formal contracts, basic health and safety assurances, and adequate wages.

At the Briefing, two panels will address sustainable sourcing and compliance with standards. The first, 'Responsible value chains, sustainable sourcing and fair trade,' will give an overview from a development perspective. Panellists will include Adrian de Groot Ruiz, Executive Director, True Price and Marike De Peña, Chair of both Fairtrade International and the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers (CLAC).

The second panel, 'Scaling up successes in sustainable sourcing and fair trade,' will discuss examples of successful businesses and public–private partnerships that support sustainable sourcing. This panel will be chaired by Bernd Lange, Chair of the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament. Abel Fernández, the Commercial Manager of the National Confederation of Dominican Cacao Producers (CONACADO) will present a case study of fair trade in the field.

The fair trade movement represents an international network of 2.5 million fair-trade producers and workers from 70 countries, and more than 100,000 volunteers. Even though the movement is growing, both producers and EU consumers still face an information gap about sales under the various fair trade schemes. This Briefing will help fill that gap.

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