A new agreement between Fairtrade International and a fair trade organization in Brazil promises to bring Fairtrade certified products to Brazilian store shelves and boost farmers’ Fairtrade sales.
The concept of fair trade is widely supported in Brazil by both civil society organizations and the government. But Fairtrade certified products have not yet been available on the Brazilian market. Now, Brazilian Fairtrade producers and traders have come together to establish the Associacao Brasiliera de Comercio Justo (AB-CJ). This new organization will work towards the launch of the FAIRTRADE Mark in Brazil and will assist Brazilian Fairtrade growers in accessing and developing their domestic market. In so doing, it will be open to other Brazilian Fair Trade stakeholders interested in collaborating with Fairtrade.
There are currently more than fifty Fairtrade certified producers and traders in Brazil with coffee, fruit juices, and fresh fruits and vegetables being the main products. According to Naji Harb (President of the AB-CJ), the development of the domestic Fairtrade market in Brazil has never been more timely. Many Fairtrade producers are suffering from the appreciation of the Brazilian Real against major trading currencies, as well as from a rise in the cost of production and logistics to deliver their products to the international market.
Fairtrade International officially endorsed AB-CJ’s work in a meeting on 24 March in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Mr Harb, Martin Hill (Director Global Accounts, Fairtrade International) and Hugues Tshibemba (Director International Relations, Fairtrade Canada) agreed to work closely together in developing the Brazilian Fairtrade market. These efforts are envisioned to eventually lead to the signing of a Fairtrade Marketing Organization Agreement between Fairtrade International and AB-CJ, with which the Association will become an official member of the Fairtrade family.
Mr Tshibemba said “Fairtrade Canada is happy to be involved in the creation of a national Fairtrade initiative in Brazil. We believe it is important to develop the local market for Fairtrade products by establishing an organization that would not only promote and educate consumers about Fairtrade, but would also help producers through capacity building and administrative efficiency to sell Fairtrade products within Brazil as well as internationally.”