Saturday, 14th October 17, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust held the...

Make Fruit Fair! Project
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Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue,...

Eye on Fair Trade Seminar

Joelle Mifsud Taliana shares her latest conference experience in Lokeren (Belgium) she attended with two other KKĠ volunteers.

I was really excited boarding the plane to Belgium; it was the first day of EYE on Fair Trade. Will it be interesting? Would I get bored? Similar questions were passing through my mind, but let me start at the beginning. You might ask what is EYE? What is Fair Trade? What is going on? Yes, let me explain.

Firstly, EYE on Fair Trade stands for "European Youth Exchange on Fair Trade", and it's a youth project organized by Oxfam Worldwinkels.

During the conference I got a better insight into what Fair Trade is all about. Originally I thought it was more straightforward and during the conference I was exposed to some Fair Trade nitty-gritty detail.

In short Fair Trade stands on the following principles: producers in the South are given a fair wage for what they produce, there is a long-term relationship between producer and the buyer to ensure stability and sustainability and producers work under good conditions.

Today more and more products are bearing what is known as the ‘Fair Trade label’ assuring the fairness in the producing and the trading of the product and the figure of Fair Trade sales runs into millions of euros each year.

In Belgium there were representatives from Italy (Pangea), Greece (Fair Trade Hellas), Sweden (VBRH), Belgium (Oxfam Worldwinkels), Gemany (Weltladen Dachverband) and Denmark (ARGE Weltläden). There were a number of individuals from various other countries such as Poland, Slovakia and USA.

An interesting personality I met during one the seminars organized was the CEO of Oxfam International. During his presentation he described his motivations for working for Oxfam and described how he felt when he quit a much better paid job with an unethical corporation that sacked workers whilst declaring record profits.

We were never short of cultural exchanges and on one particular evening a ‘Potluck dinner’ was organized where every delegation had to serve traditional local food to all others. Of course we Maltese presented our famous ‘bigilla’ dish.

During the conference I got to know about the "Citta dell’Altra Economia", a particular place in Rome dedicated to shops offering products that give regard society and the environment. In this part of Rome one finds shops selling organic agriculture, Fair Trade, renewable energy, recycled items, an ethical bank and similar shops.

During the last day of the conference we visited the European Parliament and took the opportunity to chat with some Members of the European Parlament. We gave all MEPs Fair Trade chocolates and asked them to support Fair Trade legislative initiatives in Parliament, whenever the occasion arises.

During the conference not only did make I several new contacts and get to know about Fair Trade (and related ethical issues) but the activity boosted my initiative to work for in the Fair Trade Movement. I encourage readers to subscribe to KKG's public mailing list to be alerted for vacancies during future meeting abroad!

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Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust Ltd

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