11 May 2014
Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and is based on a partnership between producers and consumers. Fairtrade offers producers a better deal and improved terms of trade. This allows them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their every day shopping.
Fairtrade’s vision is a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfil their potential and decide on their future. It is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
Fairtrade International is made up of member organisations around the world. Through Fairtrade Fortnight, Fairtrade Australia organises an annual, nationwide celebration of all things Fairtrade and the difference that choosing fair makes for millions of farmers and workers in developing countries.
Fairtrade Fortnight starts on 3rd May and runs through until Sunday 18th May.
Bribery, corruption and multinational tax dodging, as well as the secrecy and lack of transparency that facilitates them, are a massive barrier to improving the wellbeing of the poorest people in the world. Developing countries lose over US$1 trillion through illicit financial flows each year.
In the year 2000, All 189 UN member state governments committed to the eight promises of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in order to “free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty”.
Much progress has been made but the world is still a long way from meeting its commitment to the world’s poor. It has become evident that while aid helps to accelerate progress, corruption acts as a brake. The world cannot deliver on its promises unless we address the issue of corruption head on.
The Shine the Light campaign is asking the leaders of the world's most economically powerful nations, the G20, to take practical steps that promote greater transparency in the financial affairs of business, government and individuals. Visit the website to learn how to support the campaign.
Meanwhile in landmark decision European finance ministers meeting in Brussels last week agreed to introduce a Financial Transaction Tax (sometimes called the Tobin Tax or Robin Hood Tax) from the beginning of 2016. The tax, which would be levied on any any transaction, anywhere in the world, carried out by a financial entity which is based in one of the 11 EU states and could bring in 30-35 billion euros, according to the European Commission, money which can be used in combatting poverty and climate change.
Every second, poor countries lose an area of land the size of a football pitch to banks and private investors. Most land deals take place in countries with serious hunger problems - yet investors often intend to export everything produced on the land. Poor families are often evicted from their homes without fair treatment or compensation.
Oxfam’s research in developing countries shows that Australia’s Big 4 Banks — the ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac — have invested in agricultural and timber companies accused of land grabs. This is leaving communities homeless and hungry and placing poor communities at risk.
Oxfam Australia is calling on the Big 4 Banks to show Zero Tolerance for Land Grabbing and:
Understand and report on their exposure to deals that could cause land grabbing
Adopt a public policy of Zero Tolerance for Land Grabbing
Advocate in the finance sector for responsible lending practices to address land grabbing
Ensure justice and restitution for the communities already affected by land grabbing.
Visit the website to sign the petition.
The Australian Catholic Bishops, have released their strongest statement yet on the “faceless”, “nameless”, “cruel”, “de-humanising” attitudes and actions being taken by cross-party politicians in relation to the plight of those seeking asylum in Australia. "The current policy has about it a cruelty that does no honour to our nation" they say.
The Australian Bishops join with the Catholic Bishops of Papa New Guinea who have voiced their strong opposition to the use of Manus Island for detention and have urged Australia “to find a more humane solution to people seeking asylum”. The Bishops do not accept the need for off-shore processing of asylum seekers, but even if it continues they argue that it surely does not require such harshness.
The full text of the Bishops statement can be found here