Laura Perona - Fairtrade Iberica

Anjali Schiviana and Laura Perona

Fair Trade is the way to achieve social justice

This month, the International Conference for Fair Trade Cities was attended by almost 200 participants in Saarbrücken from different parts of the world, Switzerland, the USA, the Philippines, Belgium, Japan, Kenya, ...

This is the first International Fair Trade Town Conference organized by 3 countries, Germany, Luxembourg and France. 4 days, 18 workshops and almost 200 attendees, but above all a lot of desire to learn and exchange ideas to reinforce the Fair Trade Town Campaign. There are currently more than 2,000 initiatives worldwide for Fair Trade Towns, involving 36 countries.

Representatives from the  for Fair Trade Towns Campaign of the IDEAS cooperative, representatives of the University of Córdoba and Carmen Mingo and Carmen Rebollo from the Madrid City Council, took advantage of their visit to be inspired because the next year 2018 this conference will be held in Madrid.

The day began with a welcome in the town hall of Saarbrücken with a cocktail with Fair Trade products and welcome by Charlotte Britz, the mayor of Saarbrücken and Fleurance Laroppe, the spokeswoman for QuattroFair. Then we could see a show about child exploitation in which the children and adolescents of a local school in the Congress acted.

On Friday and Sunday were used for the talks and workshops, while on Saturday various excursions were organized to the different cities bordering Saarbrücken: Luxembourg, Metz and Trier; all this cities have the title of Fair Trade Towns.

Several prominent personalities within the movement attented the conference: Bruce Crowther, the founding father of the Cities for Fair Trade movement, Rudi Dalvai (President of WFTO), Sergi Corbalan (CEO of FTAO), Billi Lindstead-Goldsmith and Tadeusz Makulski (Steering Committee of the International Cities for Fair Trade campaign). We also had the chance to meet the real protagonists of  the Fair Trade movement: producers; from India, Korea and Ecuador.

It is enriching to see how so many people, with so different languages, cultures and beliefs; there is something so strong that it can unite us and forget about everything else, I am talking about Fair Trade. During this conference we were able to listen to personalities that have been in the movement for 30 years, fighting every day for an ethical consumption and for the labor rights of the producers, and this is really inspiring.

Within this movement we are all connected, from the small producer in some country of the South to those who work from an office in a country in the North, in the end we are all united with a single purpose: to fight for social justice. Fair Trade is the means to achieve this social justice globally, this is why it is so important to be aware of what we are supporting with every purchase we make, every little gesture counts.

Laura Perona, Communications Officer of Fairtrade Iberica 

Link to Spanish

Some more photos

International Stakeholders: Fairtrade-Organizations

Major Charlotte Britz in the Townhall

More photos and information are given here: