The Commission is proposing a new trade and investment strategy for the European Union: 'Trade for All. Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy.'
In this strategy, fair trade and other ethical strade schemes are promoted: "Promoting fair and ethical trade schemes reflects EU consumer demand and contributes to developing more sustainable trade opportunities for small producers in third countries. There is a lack of information today about access to fair trade schemes for both producers and EU consumers. The Commission has a role to play in facilitating this connection and in raising awareness on both the supply and the demand sides." (4.2.4, page 18)
"The Commission will:
- use the existing structure for implementation of FTAs to promote fair trade and other sustainability assurance schemes, like the EU organic scheme;
- address fair and ethical trade more systematically in the upcoming review of the EU ‘Aid for trade’ strategy and report on fair trade-related projects as part of its annual ‘Aid for trade’ report;
- promote through the EU delegations and in cooperation with the High Representative, fair and ethical trade schemes to small producers in third countries, building on existing best practice initiatives;
- step up support to work in international fora, such as the International Trade Centre, to gather market data in relation to fair and ethical trade markets, which could then serve as a basis to follow the evolution of the markets; and
- develop awareness-raising activities in the EU, in particular working with local authorities in the EU via the possible launch of an ‘EU City for Fair and Ethical Trade’ award.
“We thank Commissioner Malmström for the open dialogue with the Fair Trade movement and the various concrete initiatives in support of Fair Trade announced in the new EU Trade Strategy”, stated Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office. "The Fair Trade movement warmly welcomes the new EC pro-active approach on Fair Trade and looks forward to working together with the European Union towards making all trade fair."
The Communication will now be considered by Member States in the Council and by the European Parliament, as well as by the European Economic and Social Committee. The actions will be implemented over the course of the current Commission's mandate.