In the framework of activities organized around the Fair Trade Fortnight in France, and in commemoration of its first anniversary, SPP France organized an event on May 19 in Paris, with participation by representatives of SPP producers, Rosa Guamán (Ecuador), Santiago Paz López (Peru), and Tommy Mathew (India), among other important fair trade stakeholders in Europe. The event was organized around the theme of “the need to reorient fair trade” toward the development of small producer organizations, with a new perspective coming from the producers themselves.
SPP President Rosa Guamán spoke about the Small Producers’ Symbol, emphasizing that the project’s creation was in response to a need expressed by producers to distinguish themselves within the fair trade sector, “for genuine participation of small producers and respect for their rights.”
Santiago Paz, who serves as Treasurer on the SPP Board of Directors, spoke about the need to re-create fair trade and return to the values from which it originally emerged. He stated that growth in fair trade is not a goal in and of itself, but rather this growth should involve the strengthening of small producer organizations.
Tomy Mathew, a representative of Fair Trade Alliance Kerala, shared some experiences of small fair trade producer organizations in India, where 300 cashew producers managed to obtain higher purchase prices from the local industry.
Fair trade consumers also participated in the event, as well as civil society organizations and companies committed to fair trade, who all agreed on the urgent need to return to the movement’s original spirit, with a focus on strengthening small producers.
This event, as part of the activities organized around the Fair Trade Fortnight, was the beginning of a tour through various cities in France by SPP-France in the days that followed. SPP’s intention is to use this tour to reinvigorate the debate in France around fair trade’s mission.
Images from SPP Francia