WFTO (World Fair Trade Organisation) and AGICES – Equo Garantito (Assemblea Generale Italiana del Commercio Equo e Solidale), together with altraQualità, Altromercato, AssoBotteghe, Chico Mendes, Equomercato, LiberoMondo, have drawn up the “Manifesto of the World Fair Trade Week 2015″, which explains the meaning and values of the event that will animate Milan from 23rd to 31st of May 2015. Here it is (or you can download here):
The World Fair Trade Week is the most important international event for Fair Trade. The next edition of this biennial event will be held in Milan, from 23o 31 May 2015: for seven days the city will become the “Capital of World Fair Trade”.
The Fair Trade movement started in the 60’s to promote an economic system based on justice – fair prices, better working conditions, transparent trade relations – and allow the economically marginalized producers of the South to improve the quality of their life. It is now gradually spreading among producers of the North, serving as a socially and environmentally sustainable economic model.
The focus of the week – represented by various events and taking different forms – will be to highlight the deep and innovative meaning of Fair Trade. This will be achieved also through the presence in the city of hundreds of farmers and manufacturers from around the world. They will testify the existence of companies and organizations that bind their production and commercial activities to the pursuit of economic justice, respect of people and nature, contributing to the reduction of poverty, social exclusion and environmental destruction.
The World Fair Trade Week and its contents, developed by the Fair Trade movement in 50 years of experience, will be significant in the global debate about food production and distribution, a debate that risks not to take into consideration the point of view of small producers and of the solidarity economy.
The concept of “responsibility” will be the theme of the Fair Trade Week, showing how Fair Trade organizations are able to ensure product excellence, a virtuous commercial chain and a development model that can really “feed” the world. These organizations also prove to be a valid support for consumers and institutions that are aware of the profound social significance of “consumption”, needed to encourage virtuous economic and production patterns.
Two important events during the week: the 13th WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization) Global Conference and Milano Fair City, the first World Fair Trade Exhibition.
One important topic of debate will be the influence few actors of the production chain have on “free market” – something that tends to reduce competition, natural and social biodiversity- as well as the role of producers in the South and in the North of the globe.
Fair Trade as a possible response to the economic crisis and to a dominating economic model, based on profit maximization, will be the common link among the various initiatives.
Fair Trade products are not just “good products, but they are harmless”: they represent an implicit criticism to the dominating economy, demonstrating that it is possible to produce, consume and save, while respecting social and environmental criteria, distributing profits throughout the production supply chain, taking care of small producers, their lands and their communities.
The main goal e of the WFT Week is to remind consumers and institutions, politicians and companies, that poverty, exploitation and social exclusion are not merely brought by fate, but are often the consequence of political and economic choices. And that solidarity economy “is good for everyone”, being a virtuous model for all, not only for small producers and consumers.
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