The YFTAs policy recommendations presented at the European Parliament
From the 10th to the 13th of October, I participated to the Fair Trade Advocacy Marathon in Brussels. Above all, it has been a unique opportunity to present and discuss the document containing 45 policy recommendations targeting the EU institutions to act in accordance with existing tools (such as European Union Directives, International charters and standards etc.) to enable a global and fair ecological transition.
The purpose of the document is to single out EU trade policy tools and trade related measures. Is it important? Absolutely. The European Union’s influence on trade (and, thus, on social and environmental matters) is significant, since it is the biggest world’s trading block.
The policy recommendations were presented in the morning of the 12th of October at the Fair Trade Breakfast. An event hosted at the European Parliament by MEP Bernd Lange during which Young Fair Trade Activists from all over Europe, together with Fair Trade farmers and producers, discussed with Members of the Parliament interested or even intrigued by the Fair Trade Movement.
It has been, without any doubt, an occasion where Young Activists had the possibility to address relevant topics that must be considered in the European policy making process. The message has been much stronger thanks to the support of smallholder farmers from the Global South, that truly are experiencing the effects of unfair trade practices and climate change.
As pointed out by Deborah Osei Mensah, Fair Trade Ambassador: “If my ideas are not requested (taken into account), then it is not for me. If policies are being made to support producers (and farmers), and the producers concerns are not taken (into consideration), then the policy is not for the producers”.
From the point of view of environmental communication, I am convinced that the support we received from the Fair Trade Advocacy Office has been important. It helped creating a communication strategy that ultimately contributed to spread the message (both among civil society and with the Members’ of the European Parliament) that a global, fair and ecological transition is necessary both in the Global North and the Global South and, yet, it is feasible.
For information about the Fair Trade Advocacy Office and media enquiries please contact Paola Plaku +39 38 70 549 / firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Fair Trade Advocacy Office
The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) speaks out on behalf of the Fair Trade Movement for Fair Trade and Trade Justice with the aim to improve the livelihoods of marginalised producers and workers in the South. The FTAO is a joint initiative of Fairtrade International, the World Fair Trade Organization and the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe. The FTAO was born in 2004 when the Fair Trade networks set up an informal advocacy cooperation mechanism.
About the Young Fair Trade Advocates
The Young Fair Trade Advocates are a group young individuals that have been trained on topics such as International trade and food systems, rising inequalities at global level, human rights abuses, and extreme poverty along our supply chains, adverse impacts of fast fashion, trade agreements, unsustainable consumerism or intensive farming. The aim of the program is to deepen the knowledge on the above-mentioned topics and dynamics and offer the youth concrete tools to mobilize and engage at EU-level with policymakers and other key stakeholders.