Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth

At the end of Fairtrade Fortnight, shadow international development minister Tony Cunningham writes about the moral, and economic, importance of fair trade.

Fairtrade: Fairness in trade

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Tony Cunningham MP (Labour, Workington) is the shadow international development minister

At the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight, which ended last week, I, along with other Labour MPs, had the opportunity to meet the human face of fair trade. We listened to Palestinian olive oil producers, and the managing director of Divine Chocolate, Sophi Tranchell, who spoke about the great advantages fair trade business can bring.

Fairtrade-logoThe producer’s story was one of courage, resilience, and determination to support, through their own hard work, their families and communities.

I have been involved with the fair trade movement for almost 30 years; we have come a long way since the coffee in the early 1980s. What a transformation has taken place in the intervening years.

Fair trade’s expansion is a great success story; between 2010 and 2011 there was a 12% increase in sale. Its growth is a testament to the producers themselves as well as organisations like the Fairtrade Foundation and Traidcraft.

The fact that, even in the midst of the biggest economic downturn in decades, fair trade retails grew last year is a testament to the UK’s sense of global justice and fairness.

Sales now top £1.32 billion; sending a clear signal to businesses that British people care passionately about fair trade and will vote with their feet to support it.

Fair trade doesn’t just mean better prices, it allows developing countries to improve working conditions, local sustainability, and ensure fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world are upheld and defended. Fair trade gives the British public a simple, regular and rewarding way to support the developing world. Significantly the farmers use the profits to provide education, mobile health clinics and other vital facilities within their communities.

Fair trade businesses are a perfect example of Ed Miliband’s call for more responsible capitalism; they are ‘fairness in tough times’ at its best. Responsible business is now firmly on the political agenda.

For responsible capitalism is not just about tackling bonuses to bankers at the top. It must also be about making business work better for the livelihoods of people at the bottom too.

 


See also:

Secret trade agreement places western profit over global welfare 29 Sep 2011

Is the focus on aid – how much, and who to – the right one? 8 Mar 2011

Where is the coalition’s leadership, vision and ambition on aid? 16 Aug 2010

DfID recommend slashing 100 projects to help the world’s poor 12 Aug 2010

Revealed: The shocking conditions of Kenyan and Indian tea plantation workers 26 Jul 2010


 

As we begin to contemplate the post-2015 agenda, this type of trade and business model must serve as a reminder there are new avenues to explore; an entrepreneurial and responsible private sector are at the heart of sustainable growth. Fair trade is a living example of putting responsible business into practice. A genuine step in the right direction, it allows consumers to have a global reach.

Fair trade, in my view, shares the basic principle that persuaded me to join the Labour Party, so many years ago – better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. Fair trade is good for farmers and consumers and I can only hope Fairtrade Fortnight will help to inspire more people to start buying fair trade in the future.

 


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31 Responses to “Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth”

  1. cr

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key …: At the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight, w… http://t.co/lYxL14AG

  2. leftlinks

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  3. Alison Louis

    RT @leftfootfwd: Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth http://t.co/lliW25Lv

  4. Delina Osmond

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to …: At the end of Fairtrade Fortnight, shad… http://t.co/tHHPPAR0

  5. Martin Steel

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth: http://t.co/odkrhNeP by Tony Cunningham MP

  6. Purer Coffee

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to …: I have been involved with the fair trad… http://t.co/iGF4f6vR

  7. Jason Allen

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to … http://t.co/d1Y16GlV

  8. Sam Roger

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth | Left Foot Forward – http://t.co/UkrWHc7M

  9. Oz-K®

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to …: I have been involved with the fair trad… http://t.co/iGF4f6vR

  10. Sweet Freedom

    "Fair Trade is a living example of putting responsible business into practice" – Tony Cunningham MP: http://t.co/p9rxzsd4 (via @leftfootfwd)

  11. Hywel

    #Fairtrade: entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth http://t.co/TUw4HEQg #GlobalDev

  12. Traidcraft

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth: http://t.co/odkrhNeP by Tony Cunningham MP

  13. Sandra Grieve

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth: http://t.co/odkrhNeP by Tony Cunningham MP

  14. SCIAF

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth: http://t.co/odkrhNeP by Tony Cunningham MP

  15. Melanie RJo

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth: http://t.co/odkrhNeP by Tony Cunningham MP

  16. simon coxon

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth: http://t.co/odkrhNeP by Tony Cunningham MP

  17. andyredfern

    Some interesting reflections on fairtrade from
    from @tcunninghammp labour mp for Workington http://t.co/FsoUHRB4

  18. Co-operative Party

    Our #Fairtrade event with @divinechocolate & @Zaytoun_CIC inspires Tony Cunningham MP's piece for @leftfootfwd http://t.co/sqPGcRdE

  19. Sam Dowling

    Our #Fairtrade event with @divinechocolate & @Zaytoun_CIC inspires Tony Cunningham MP's piece for @leftfootfwd http://t.co/sqPGcRdE

  20. Co-operative Party

    Inspired by our event with Divine Chocolate & Zaytoun, Shadow Development Minister Tony Cunningham MP writes for… http://t.co/oNZTmmo8

  21. Co-operatives UK

    Inspired by our event with Divine Chocolate & Zaytoun, Shadow Development Minister Tony Cunningham MP writes for… http://t.co/oNZTmmo8

  22. Andrew

    Inspired by our event with Divine Chocolate & Zaytoun, Shadow Development Minister Tony Cunningham MP writes for… http://t.co/oNZTmmo8

  23. Vijay Srao

    Our #Fairtrade event with @divinechocolate & @Zaytoun_CIC inspires Tony Cunningham MP's piece for @leftfootfwd http://t.co/sqPGcRdE

  24. Zaytoun CIC

    Our #Fairtrade event with @divinechocolate & @Zaytoun_CIC inspires Tony Cunningham MP's piece for @leftfootfwd http://t.co/sqPGcRdE

  25. Zaytoun CIC

    @tcunninghammp on meeting @Zaytoun_CIC + Sophi Tranchell of @divinechocolate-putting responsible business into practice http://t.co/03j24DQK

  26. Chairmanboab

    Have you ever heard such drivel [rhetorical]?, the mindwash is complete with this guy. Responsible capitalism and the growth model has as much to offer as a tory pledge of fairness. If this is the informed opinion being punted by the labour party then their transformation is complete and they are devoid of any leftist credentials. it’s unbelievable in an age of austerity and the attacks on welfare and democracy which we’re witnessing that a labour politician would come out with this kind of stuff. Fairtrade in a capitalist system which is sucking up the planet’s resources and inflicting slavery and inhuman living conditions on millions and he thinks buying the ‘good’ bananas will do the job. It seems the intellectual vacuum mentioned by angry dave and his posse isn’t the calumny it first appeared…………mention free range chickens to him, that’ll really excite a discussion………

  27. super.carrinho

    fairtrade: an entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth. http://t.co/ndAh9mSD

  28. Gislaine Gallette

    Fairtrade (Comercio Justo): An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth http://t.co/djedCpdn

  29. Rick Awdas

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/m9fZQ7ef

  30. Feze Fair Trade

    Fairtrade: An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/Lb2YdQD1

  31. Is George Osborne questioning capitalism? | Left Foot Forward

    […] See also: • An entrepreneurial, responsible private sector is key to sustainable growth 15 Mar […]

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