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What’s Fair in Anti-Poverty Week

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Presentation on theme: "What’s Fair in Anti-Poverty Week"— Presentation transcript:

1 What’s Fair in Anti-Poverty Week
The What’s Fair Morning Tea Monday 15th October Kilbride Centre Kristen Hobby

2 What’s Fair in Anti Poverty Week
Kristen Hobby – NCCA Representative for Fair Trade and the Churches of Christ Social Justice Network (Vic/Tas) Antony McMullen – Social Justice Officer, Justice and International Mission Unit, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania for the Uniting Church of Australia Liz Thompson - FairWear Victoria Campaign Co-ordinator

3 It is not a question of whether there is enough food, water and resources for the world’s population – the issue is the distribution of those resources.

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger 2. Achieve universal primary education 3. Promote gender equality and empower women 4. Reduce child mortality 5. Improve maternal health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases 7. Ensure environmental sustainability

8. Develop a global partnership for development Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory Address the least developed countries' special needs. (The 2005 G8 summit $40 billion debt cancellation program which was agreed to by rich-nation finance ministers has, for instance, enabled Zambia to hire 7,000 new teachers and send all school aged children to school.)

6 We as consumers What do you look for when you buy products at the supermarket? Price Brand preference – packaging Nutritional content – salt/fat/sugar Country of origin

7 Another consideration
What we haven’t been good at is the social and justice implications of the products we buy. Think about the t-shirt you are wearing. Maybe the cotton is grown and spun into yarn in Pakistan Then sent to Haiti to be knit, cut and sewn Sent to England to be printing, packaging and shipped to Australia and other parts of the world

8 Who is involved? Everything we consume tells a story
Who is involved at each stage? Are they fairly paid? Do they have enough food and medicine? Do they work in safe environments? Do they have a voice in how their time and labour is used? Everything we consume tells a story

9 Quote "Before you've finished your breakfast this morning, you'll have relied on half the world" Martin Luther King An interesting thought. And a depressing one, when you realise that those people you've relied on for your coffee and muesli are almost certainly being exploited and oppressed by the unfair power balance in world trade.

10 What is Fair and free trade?
Free trade is trade within and between countries that is free from government intervention – no incentives for producers and no limits on trade. Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade.

11 Why Fair Trade? For decades, rich countries and institutions have pushed poor countries to open their markets, privatize essential services, and divert development efforts away from local producers. The profits of large corporations, supermarkets, transport companies and advertisers have increased and the power to control trade has been increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. At the same time, millions of  people – from small farmers to individual consumers, have become increasingly disempowered and impoverished.

12 Why Fair Trade? Trade justice is about recognizing the right that farmers have to feed their families and send their children to school. It is about allowing domestic industries to develop; it is about access to essential services like water and healthcare, and it is about the right to fair wages and dignified work. Trade justice is about people and their basic human rights.

13 Why Fair Trade? Fair Trade means: Dignity of every human being
Reducing poverty (particularly extreme poverty) A just distribution of wealth Healing communities Improving sustainability Participation in decision making

14 We can do something? You can buy Fair Trade products. And you can add your voice. Fair Trade is a growing, international movement which ensures that producers in poor countries get a fair deal. This means a fair price for their goods (one that covers the cost of production and guarantees a living income), long-term contracts which provide real security; and for many, support to gain the knowledge and skills that they need to develop their businesses and increase sales.

15 Story 1 Issahden Muhammed Alhassan, a rice farmer in the Northern village of Dalun, Ghana

16 Africa In 1980 Africa had 6% share of world trade. By 2002 this had dropped to just 2% despite the fact that Africa has 12% of the world’s population. If Africa could regain just an additional 1% share of global trade, it would earn $70 billion more each year, several times more than what the region currently receives in effective international assistance.

17 Africa Right now, trade rules are so skewed that cows in Europe receive more a day in subsidies than half the population of Africa. Millions of people are stuck in the trade trap. No matter how hard they work, they earn less every year.

18 Africa – What we need to do
Increased access to fair trade will allow poor countries to build their economies We must open up developed country agricultural markets and eliminate subsidies. All nations should also have a seat at the table in any trade negotiations, ensuring a transparent and democratic process. We must also work to prevent any possible unintended negative consequences of trade liberalization for poor and vulnerable people.

19 The issues As the world gets richer, so should the poor. But they aren’t! As borders have opened up, prices paid to small producers have fallen and real incomes declined With big corporations in control, small farmers are unable to obtain fair and stable prices for their produce. Many are no longer able to feed their families, much less produce extra food for sale. The current global market works only for a few

20 Our Neighbourhood Despite welcome commitments to increase aid, Australia can and should do more. In 2000, Australia ranked 13 out of 22 rich countries for the amount of aid given as a proportion of national income. Currently we are ranked 19th out of 22 countries. We also have the issue of transparency. Some 621 million people in Asia and the Pacific, or 19.3% of developing Asia's population, lived on less than $1 a day in 2003.

21 The First Stage of Trade
The first focus is on raw materials and resources, such as oil, grain, minerals, land and even labour viewed as a commodity resource. Coffee Stage 1, the growing of coffee beans this involves appropriate price for the coffee grower.

22 Second Stage of Trade The second is the process stage in which value is added to raw materials by developing, shaping, or refining the basic resource into saleable commodities. Sometimes the word industry is given to this second stage. Stage 2, the grinding and packaging of the coffee beans

23 Third Stage of Trade The third is distribution and sale of manufactured goods to consumers who pay for the goods sold. Stage 3, the sale of coffee to consumers

24 Biblical Reflections The global campaign “Trade for people – not people for Trade” puts human beings in the centre of the concern: How can trade serve children, women and men and not the opposite that people are forced to serve anonymous market rules and regulations? The respect of human-rights in all trade activities is the core message of the campaign. This vision is rooted in Christian convictions and ethical values.

25 Biblical Reflections The Gospel leads Christians to a commitment to a just and equitable society in which every human being has God given significance and dignity. No one should be oppressed or marginalized. Each should be embraced as a member of the same family.

26 Biblical Reflections The biblical standards for economic activity, including the trade of goods and services, is justice and taking the side of the poor: fair payment, transparent relationship, no exploitation, and respect for life, ensuring the care of all. Transparency in Australia’s aid budget. Does it include the cost of the AWB inquiry or the debt relief to Iraq as a result of the inquiry? Does it include the cost of the Pacific Solution? Does it include the cost of sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan?

27 Biblical Reflections Trade, therefore, must be an instrument of sustainable, participatory and just community and communion. Justice is inseparable from love and agape (which means creative sympathy for the suffering and the oppressed) -- siding with the poor and furthering the interest of others.

28 Biblical Reflections The biblical texts show clear criteria for justice in trade. Trade is fair if It is not abused for purposes of power politics (Ezek. 28.,6), It does not oppress and exploit anyone, women, children or men (Ezek ), It deals in goods, but not in people, i.e. slaves (Joel 3.6; Amos 1.9), Grants producers a fair wage (Isaiah 23.3), Admits of redistribution, and of fair and widespread profit participation (Isaiah 23.18).

29 The issues Dumping Power concentrated in very few hands
Loss of livelihoods Rising hunger Environmental destruction

30 Story 2 In the early 1990s, the Honduran government decided to import cheap rice from the US.

31 Myths Economic growth automatically means growth for all; the benefits “trickle down” to the poor. Developing countries need access to Northern markets to sell food Trade liberalization is the path to development. If everybody liberalizes and plays by the WTO rules, then producers in rich and poor countries will be on “a level playing field”. Lower food prices are good for everyone

32 What international trade means for farmers
Most of the farmers in the world don’t produce crops for export - 90% of agricultural produce is actually sold on local and domestic markets. Yet all farmers are being forced to live according to rules that are designed to help the 10% of agricultural produce that is traded internationally.

33 What international trade means for farmers
The international market for agricultural products is dominated by a few enormous transnational corporations (TNCs) who wield massive power and control over market prices.

34 What currently makes trade unfair?
Currently, the rules of the global economy are written by institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. These institutions have written global policy with input mainly from multinational corporations and very little input from citizens.

35 Story 3 Leissa Carey was 14, the youngest of 12 children growing up outside Kingston, Jamaica, when her mother lost her job as a sugar cane cutter.

36 Chocolate We eat an estimated sixty billion dollars worth of chocolate every year, but thanks to a long-term decline in world prices, millions of families whose livelihoods depend on cocoa production are facing extreme poverty.

37 Chocolate But it doesn't have to be that way. The Kuapa Kokoo cooperative, in the Ashanti region at the heart of Ghana's cocoa-belt, is working with Fair Trade organisations to challenge the system. It is helping its 35,000 members to get their fair share of the profits generated by cocoa.

38 Chocolate When Kuapa sells to its Fair Trade partners in Europe, it receives a guaranteed minimum price, as well as a 'social premium' which is invested in community projects such as building wells and schools. And when the price in cocoa drops - as it has been generally doing for the past 20 years - Kuapa's farmers still have a secure income.

39 What needs to change? To the IMF, WTO, World Bank and rich country governments: STOP mandatory trade liberalization through any international institution STOP conditionality (i.e. attaching free trade conditions to aid, loans and debt relief ) ALLOW poor countries to determine their own economic and development policies

40 What needs to change? ENSURE that independent human rights assessments, including their impact on the right to food, are made prior to trade negotiations IMPLEMENT workable common international regulation to end dumping ESTABLISH international commodity agreements that set base stable prices for products REGULATE transnational corporations (TNCs), especially agribusiness, on a common international basis

41 What needs to change? SUBSIDIZE the costs of agricultural inputs and technical advice for small producers MANAGE prices for food staples to ensure stability for producers and consumers SUPPORT distribution of agricultural inputs and collection of agricultural produce where markets don’t exist or don’t operate properly PROVIDE preferential credit to small producers

42 What needs to change? To national governments:
DETERMINE trade policy, including export strategies, within a coherent development policy PROTECT sustainable local production that is complemented, not replaced, by exports GIVE women equitable access to productive resources, including land and credit PROTECT poor and vulnerable farmers from cheap imports that destroy their livelihoods

43 The Good news Australia's Fairtrade growth the fastest in the world
Australia's growth in Fairtrade products such as coffee is ranked the fastest in the world with sales up at least 50 per cent on last year to $8 million, according to Oxfam Australia Growing demand from consumers who wish to shop ethically has fuelled massive market growth in Fairtrade products in Australia. According to Oxfam, in 2003 the total value of Australia's Fairtrade retail sales was a paltry $146,000. But today, just three years later, the market has grown enormously and is worth at least $8 million.

44 The Good news The rate of Fairtrade product growth has rocketed partly as a result of Australian shopping giant Coles as well as Australian-owned coffee chain Hudson who stock Fairtrade products. In addition Origin Energy, Orica and Lonely Planet make Fairtrade coffee and tea available in their offices Australia-wide.

45 The Good News Oxfam celebrates win-win outcome for Ethiopian coffee farmers and Starbucks Oxfam welcomes an agreement signed between coffee giant Starbucks and the government of Ethiopia that has the potential to guarantee its coffee farmers a fairer share of the profits for their world-renowned brands, Sidamo, Harar and Yirgacheffe. This will help lift Ethiopian coffee farmers out of poverty.

46 How do I know it’s Fairtrade?
Most Fair Trade products bear a Fairtrade Mark on the packaging.  In different countries look out for the different names,  Transfair , Max Havelaar or FairTrade Foundation . You can find out which is applicable in your country on the Fair Trade Labelling Organisation (FLO) website If a product is making a Fair Trade claim but it doesn't carry a Fairtrade Mark you can be sure their claim is genuine if they belong to the International Federation of Alternative Trade (IFAT), whose members have a mission to tackling poverty through trade.  You can check members of IFAT on their website

47 What we can do? There are a variety of ways for everyone to get involved : Look for fair trade tea, coffee, chocolate & other products in your local supermarket Encourage your family, church, school, work place and other groups to use fair trade tea and coffee. Organise a worship service, resources available on Get involved in the What’s Fair in Anti Poverty Week Oct 07 Sell fair trade products in your business Volunteer with Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand Donate money Pray for trade justice in the world

48 Resources Oxfam Fair Trade Association People for Fair Trade
World Evangelical Alliance Christian World Service

49 What’s fair in Anti Poverty Week 14th to 21st October 2007
Monday 15th - The What’s Fair morning tea – A Christian Perspective (10:00-12:00am) Wednesday 17th - an ecumenical worship service at Melbourne University (1:15-1:45pm) Wed 17th - What’s fair in education? – accessibility and equity at RMIT (4:30-6:30pm) Thurs 18th - What’s fair in the ragtrade? with a showing of China Blue (6:30-8:30pm).

50 Reflection questions What can individuals do? What can families do?
What can churches do?

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