Small producers from Latin America against the new policy of Fairtrade International

Source:  Newsletter CLAC Nr 10. (CLAC is the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Small Fair Trade Producers)

“During the month of May, cacao and sugar producers met in Panama, and for the second time, they analyzed the development of New Business Options, known as NBOs (currently Fairtrade Sourcing Partnerships, FSP), a project headed by the Fairtrade System’s Global Operations Team. 

The project is aimed at increasing cacao and sugar sales through the certification of a single ingredient in composite products. For example, under this modality, a chocolate bar could be Fairtrade even if only one of its ingredients is Fairtrade. 

Cacao and sugar producers have identified huge risks if this project is implemented, such as a loss of prestige for the Fairtrade brand and unfair competition that may be generated between companies 100% committed to fair trade and transnational corporations and other large stakeholders interested in certifying only one product. 

Also during May, two CLAC representatives participated in a workshop in Bonn, Germany to discuss the project that would be presented later to the System’s Board of Directors. Unfortunately for CLAC, the project was approved in June, against the vote cast by the CLAC member. Now, the next steps are to discuss the implications and propose changes.”