FIRST EURO-LATINOAMERICAN GOVERNMENTAL MEETING ON FAIR TRADE TAKES PLACE IN QUITO, ECUADOR
Quito, Ecuador – In the framework of the international conference of Fair Trade Towns that took place between 21st and 23rd of October, the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Commerce of Ecuador organized the first Euro-Latin American governmental meeting on Fair Trade. Under the theme of “Fair Trade as a strategy to combine environmental and social sustainability in trade relations between Latin America and the European Union”, it gathered government and agency representatives from Ecuador, European Union, Ghana, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, States of Africa, Pacific and Caribbean, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Honduras, Colombia and Paraguay. As well as a representative from the United Nations Forum for Voluntary Sustainability Standards.
The participants exchanged their national experiences on public policies and/or national projects that promote Fair Trade or its principles. From recognition of Fair Trade at constitutional level to workshops on gender and Fair Trade, all efforts put Fair Trade at its core and bring countries closer to achieving sustainable development. A second objective was to discuss the consolidation of a network of countries interested in promotion of Fair Trade, also through joint international efforts. In that sense, main takeaways from the participants were that there is a need of joint collaborative work among governments and to install Fair Trade in the public agendas. As well as the need of creating spaces to discuss creation of public policies for promotion and uptake of Fair Trade. The latter point links directly to the value of this first encounter organized by the FTAO and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Commerce of Ecuador. In terms of next steps, the formalization of such a network will be sought among participant countries and the identification of the best vehicle to bring to existence this network of friend countries of Fair Trade.
As stated by Ambassador Isabel Albornoz, we hope this is “the first of many encounters that allow to connect consumers with producers and retailers and that allows producers to receive a fair price throughout the supply chain”.
The FTAO thanks the representatives from Ecuador, European Union, Ghana, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, States of Africa, Pacific and Caribbean and from Chile, for their active participation in this encounter and for the sharing of their experiences in implementing policies and projects in their territories. The FTAO hopes this network can be consolidated and that joint efforts are sought for more promotion of Fair Trade through public policies also for other countries. We would like to thank also to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Foreign Commerce of Ecuador for their support and commitment in the implementation of Fair Trade.
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