Latin American and Caribbean Network of Small Fair Trade Producers (CLAC) Position on Fair Trade USA’s Split from FLO

September 22, 2011

 

The Latin American and Caribbean Network of Small Fair Trade Producers (CLAC) is a founding member and co-owner of Fairtrade International, and is strongly committed to the future of Fair Trade for disadvantaged producers.

The CLAC represents democratically organized small farmers, and addresses the strengthening and development of grassroots organizations promoting their products and values; does advocacy within the framework of fair trade, being strongly committed to self-management and empowerment of Small Farmers’ Organizations.

The CLAC is also committed to the mandate of its last Assembly on November 2010, where delegates from 70 organizations representing more than 119.761 farmers, reaffirmed their support to saying No to the Certification of Plantations and Contract Production of certified products in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Therefore, we as CLAC join the regret caused by the departure of FAIRTRADE USA and we express
the fact that we cannot share its new vision of expansion, since it threatens the empowerment, development and self-management of small organized producers.

We also feel it is the right moment to propose a review of the current system requesting FLO to stop the certification of plantations (HL) in Latin America and the Caribbean, to commit itself by not certifying contract production (CP) of any product and to serve the healthy interests of small organized producers; thus CLAC will commits itself to actively continue assisting FLO in promoting and making Fair Trade grow in the
world, fulfilling the mission of empowering disadvantaged producers and generating development
through trade and self-management, and also representing workers of already certified
plantations, so they may have better organizational opportunities and decision making on their
future.

We propose to continue working together for a global fair trade that respects and promotes
the original values and principles that brought us together,

On behalf of the CLAC,
Merling Preza Ramos
Board President

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