May 9th is the international day for Fair Trade. It’s a big consumer event in the industrialised countries of the north, but here in Ecuador it passes by pretty much unnoticed. On Tuesday, the members of the association about to be born, Coordinadora Ecuatoriana de Pequeños Productores de Comercio Justo CEJC, met to discuss among other things the international Fair Trade day.
Because there wasn’t enough time to arrange an event of some kind, the assocation decided to send a bulletin to the newspapers, encouraging small fairtrade producers to join the new association which promotes the rights of small farmers within Fair Trade.
Apart from spreading the word of Fair Trade, they have a couple of other important goals. One of them is to arrange debates and make statements about the role of plantations and multinationals in Fair Trade. According to them, these actors don’t belong in Fair Trade because they make it harder for small farmers to compete.
Another goal is that consumers in the south should be able to buy fairtrade products, which is also a goal of the Fairtrade Labelling Organization. Up to now, the producers in the south have provided the consumers in the north with fairtrade products, but now fairtrade products are available in for example Vietnam (read more in FLO:s annual report of 2007).
- Coordinadora Ecuatoriana de Pequeños Productores de Comercio Justo belongs to the umbrella organization CLAC (Coordinadora Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Pequeños Productores de Comercio Justo).
- CLAC:s goal is to speak for the small producers within the fairtrade system, which also comprises plantations and multinationals.
- CLAC is a member of the Fairtrade Labelling Organization and its board since 2007, shaping the development of the fairtrade system.
- Read more about CLAC on their website and about the role of the producer organizations within Fair Trade in the FLO annual report for 2006-2007.