43,437 signers demand strong enforcement against abuses of power in supply chains

A grand total of 43,437 signers from Europe and Latin America are calling for better enforcement against the abuse of power in supply chains by big players and the incorporation of ‘excessive risks and unexpected costs’ onto their suppliers. Unfair contracts and the passing on of excessive risks and costs to suppliers not only impact upon the quality and range of the food which we are able to buy, but ultimately result in poorer working conditions for the workers and farmers who contribute their time, skills and capital to produce the food we eat. In countries where there is no free education, health, or other social security provision, poverty wages, forced overtime, and poor health and safety can have devastating consequences on families and communities.The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) together with the trade union movement, represented by the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT), handed over on 6 June 2014 the last petitions from Latin America to the Directorate General for Internal Market and Services, headed by Commissioner Michel Barnier. The cabinet of Commissioner Barnier took the time to sit down with the delegation and clarify the latest timeline. Before end of July, Commissioner Barnier, is set to make an announcement on Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs).

Hand in Barnier

Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the FTAO, said “Abuses of power and Unfair Trading Practices in supply chains are continuing to violate human rights of marginalised producers and workers around the world every day. We call on the EU to put in place a strong European framework to address these market failures in our supply chains.”

The petitions had been collected by civil society organizations in 17 countries in Europe and Latin America by a European coalition and trade unions in the suppliers’ countries. The coalition consists of Traidcraft (UK), Via Campesina (International Peasants’ Movement), Peuples Solidaires (France), Fairfood International, Oxfam Germany, SOMO (Netherlands), TVE (Hungary), Christliche Initiative Romero (Germany), Consumers International (UK) and COLSIBA (the Latin American Coordinating Body for Banana and Agro-industrial Unions).

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