Ahead of the World Fair Trade Day 2012 (12 May 2012), the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, stated:
“I would like to congratulate the Fair Trade movement on the occasion of World Fair Trade Day, celebrated around the world this Saturday (12 May 2012). It is a festival of events highlighting Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to the fight against poverty.
It fills me with pride that an ever increasing number of European citizens contribute to sustainable development by demanding Fair Trade products. Data suggests that last year the value of Fair trade products in the EU surpassed the 3 billion Euros mark for the very first time and this is largely due to the over 100.000 dedicated volunteers who form the backbone of the Fair Trade movement in Europe.
The European Parliament has repeatedly and overwhelmingly called for policies in support of Fair Trade, especially thanks to the tireless efforts made by the European Parliament cross-party Fair Trade Working Group. In addition, Members of Parliament contribute one cup at a time as the Parliament offers Fair Trade coffee and tea at all its meetings.
Fair Trade makes a change! It proves that consumers, volunteers, NGOs, public authorities and the private sector can all work together in order to make trade work for development. It helps to tackle slavery and child labour, it guarantees women equal pay for equivalent work even in countries where women generally do not receive any financial remuneration for their labour. It enables smallholders in the South to introduce sustainable farming methods and improve the quality of their products. More than anything, Fair Trade proves that people are not looking for hand-outs but for decent labour standards and a fair price for their labour.
As president of the European Parliament I would like to take this opportunity to thank the global and European Fair Trade organisations and especially all the Fair Trade producers in the South and the many volunteers within the Fair Trade movement for the important work they do, and for leading the struggle for more equitable trade. Thank you, and happy World Fair Trade Day 2012!”
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