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Fair Trade Products: Which is right label? What does Fair trade mean?

3. November 2013 - 11:57 -- Dr. Klaus-Jürge...

In Germany and France we have more and different fair-trade-labels in the market. Reason why? There also exist different definitions and different certifications. So the key questions in these market are: Should there exist fair trade without organic quality? And the other question: Is there a need also for fair trade products in the northern hemisshere? And a special german question: Should fair trade products also be sold in ddiscount ahps?

The main thing of fair trade is of course to help small underdeveloped players to paticipate in business. There it is quite necessary to have fair trade with cacao, coffee, rise sugar or bananas to assure that farming is able to provide a secure life to to the really farming people and to allow them to treat their soil and the farmland in a sustainable way. The problem of these raw materials very often is, that the real producers, the farming people are not fairly paid. So they have not enough money to noorish their families and to treat their farmland in a sustainable way. So obviously it males sense to talk about fait trade mainly in the south.

This kind of fairness we are talking about is much more than just talking about good social standards. In these cases for example labor in conventional farms is really threatening life because people work surrounded of pesticides and those people suffer most of the abuse of pesticide, much more than the final consumer. Sop from this perspective is makes a lot of sense to combine fair trade and organic farming. So in this way a fair beer, a fair milk and a fair trout are quite another thing.

The typical german question is, whether fair trade products can also be sold in discount shops. There we habe to watch whether fair products are really fair. But on the other hand the discount is 40% of german food sales and some the organic key products in Germany would never have a good market share without the discount shops.

Fair trade - just beeing a very small part of the market - has to look for mass markets to be efficient and to change habits of shops and consumers. So one of the huge tasks for the future will be to relly establish fair cotton as a relevant part of the market to avoid the really bad present situations in the poroduction. And of course it is a question whether we really need so much fair flowers and roses and whether they are playing for example a good role in the East Afrikan market.

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