The first European Fair Trade Fair has taken place near Lyon in France. Thousands of people have visted some 180 exhibitions that highlight the principles of international fair trade. One of the main aims is to promote sustainable development through better trading conditions and rights for producers and workers in developing countries.
Olivier Schultz, one of the organisers, says fair trade is an international movement that responds to the concerns about responsible consumption.
There are often environmental issues to tackle, but also economic and social ones. He says fair trade is also about the gaps in development between countries in the north and the south.
The labelling of fair trade goods is also important, explains Green MEP Frithjof Schmidt:
“The question now is that the commision is underlining that these are the criteria for products with a label fair trade. There are other products, maybe with a label ethical trade or something else, and I think this should be clear: what is what, what is fair trade or, let’s say maybe fair trade-like.”
Fair trade groups say their networks are rapidly expanding, and there is now a multi-billion euro turnover.