15 January 2014 (Strasbourg) - The new EU public procurement rules voted today make it easy to buy fair. EU Commissioner Michel Barnier and key Members of the European Parliament celebrated this good news for Fair Trade.
The new EU public procurement Directive was voted today by a large majority of Members of the European Parliament, after a political agreement reached with the Council of Ministers. The vote puts an end to the revision procedure initiated three years ago by the European Commission. Public authorities across Europe will be able henceforth to make a deliberate choice for Fair Trade products, besides taking into account other sustainability considerations. The new law confirms the direction set by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the “North Holland” case ruling (Commission vs Netherlands C‑368/10), which for the first time clarified that public contracts can award additional points to products “of fair trade origin”. The possibility to consider social aspects alongside environmental ones is a step forward from the existing rules. Furthermore, the new Directive explicitly allows referring to robust certification schemes as a proof of compliance with the sustainability requirements set out in call for tenders.
To celebrate the good outcome for Fair Trade, the Fair Trade Working Group in the European Parliament organised a drink with fairly-traded sparkling wine right after the vote and clinked glasses with EU Commissioner Michel Barnier and leading Members of the European Parliament from various political groups. "I have always said I believe in open borders. But trade has to be both free and fair. The two words must go together. That is the condition for successful and accepted globalisation which is genuinely in the interest of all, and in particular the poorest. The Fair Trade working group does extremely useful work in this area, promoting these policies and I fully support Linda McAvan and her team's tireless work in this area”, stated the Commissioner.
From Left to Right: MEP Marc Tarabella (S&D, Belgium), MEP Linda McAvan (S&D, UK), EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier, MEP Heide Rühle (Greens, Germany) and Malcolm Harbour (ECR, UK)
The Fair Trade movement welcomes the new text, which should reassure and encourage public authorities across Europe that already support farmers in the South through their purchases to continue doing so. The new EU rules will also hopefully also drive others towards the sustainable development path.
Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office stated “The ball is now on the Members States’ court as they need to implement the changes introduced by the new EU rules into national law. Member States should use this opportunity to also put in place socially sustainable sourcing strategies that support Fair Trade”.
The new public procurement Directive is expected to enter into force in March 2014. EU Member States will then have two years to transpose it into national law.
Contact: Elba Estrada
Bremen, 28 March 2014 – The city of Paris and the French Post office, the municipality of Traun in Austria and the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom were recognised for their excellence in Fair Trade cotton procurement yesterday evening at the European Fair Trade Cotton Procurement Awards ceremony that took place in Bremen, Germany.
The winners of the first-ever pan-European Award Scheme on Fair Cotton Procurement have shown that Fair Trade commitments made in the framework of different campaigns can be translated into real purchasing practices in support of cotton farmers and workers in the South. This was showcased in the following categories:
1) Local authorities above 100.000 inhabitants:
The city of
For this category, the region of
2) Local authorities below 100.000 inhabitants: Municipality of
3) National authorities (supra-local entities), including public bodies: La
La Poste is the forerunner for the purchase of Fairtrade cotton clothing in
The Ministry of Defence was awarded the highly commended status for their very recent, but firm support to Fair Trade cotton, with the aim of souring 5% of their cotton under Fair Trade terms.
4) Educational establishments: universities and student organisations: The
Most of the staff working for LSE wears Fairtrade cotton certified uniforms. In addition, all the promotional clothes of LSE are made of Fairtrade cotton. LSE is encouraging other high educational establishments to follow their example. This, together with the determination to go beyond Fairtrade in all procurement categories, tipped the balance in favour of LSE.
The four winners of the European Fair Cotton Procurement Awards received yesterday evening their sustainably-produced trophies during the final conference of the EC-funded “Cotton on to Fairtrade procurement” project in
Accepting the Award, Rachid Sifany, head of the clothing bureau of the city of
The selection process for the Awards took place in
Solobamady Keita, Secretary General of the National Union of Cotton Producers’ Cooperative Societies of Mali, who handed in the trophies to the Award winners, declared “This Award acknowledges the importance of the people that harvest the cotton, but also the people that wear the Fair Trade clothing. The Fair Trade cotton producers are thankful to the forerunners that have been rewarded today, and would like to see other public authorities in
The European Fair Cotton Procurement Awards are organised with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the partners of the “Cotton on to Fairtrade procurement” project and can in no way be taken to reﬂect the views of the European Union.
Contact: Elba Estrada