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Europe Global Environment & Development The New South From G8 to G20 The Development Agenda UN Reform Global Finance Doha Final The Euro-zone in Crisis Eastern Europe

Fair Trade and Development: The EU's Non-Policy

New EP report sets the course

Consumers’ penchant for ethical purchasing is tangibly growing. People are increasingly aware that the international trading system is not conducive to sustainable development. More and more consumers buy Fair Trade products. However, the EU falls short of providing meaningful support to Fair Trade. A new own-initiative report (see reference) of MEP Frithjof Schmidt, adopted unanimously by the development committee of the European Parliament, is an attempt to address these shortcomings in a comprehensive manner. Michael Schmitt gives an overview.


With Fair Trade, the much abused slogan "trade and not aid" has become a meaningful truism. Trade matters, but what matters as much is the quality of trading relations and products. And Fair Trade is all about "quality trade", which is embodied in an unambiguous commitment to high social and environmental standards in production as well as a fair price for producers ...

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