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Reese Faires Fruehstueck 350Steffen Reese (Managing Director FFH & General Manager Naturland e.V.) is opening the Faire Breakfast in the German Bundestag. (Photo: Forum Fairer Handel/ Andreas Müller Fotografie)

On 2nd December, 2016, Forum Fairer Handel, the network of fair trade organisations in Germany, and Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development, held their annual “Fair-Trade Breakfast” in the German Bundestag. Parliamentarians availed themselves of the opportunity to acquire first-hand information about fair trade. Steffen Reese, the general manager of Naturland, reminded his listeners of the essentially global validity of fair trade, saying, “Farmers producing cocoa in South America are entitled to the same fair treatment as, for example, German dairy farmers. The dumping of growers’ prices needs to be curtailed by encouraging organic, fair trade agriculture, both at home and abroad.”

Fuchtel, the State Secretary, made the following statement. “We are happy to give our support to fair trade, because we have evidence that this movement is making progress. Awareness of sustainable consumption is increasing and consequently the potential for involvement in fair trade. It is worth making the effort to lobby for it before the German Bundestag, too.” Manuel Blendin, general manager of Forum Fairer Handel, added, “In order for trade to offer everyone a fairer deal, amongst other things we need to encourage the exchange of information with the members of the German Bundestag in order to garner further political support for the objectives of fair trade. Today we have again been successful in demonstrating the impact made by the fair-trade movement both at home and abroad”.

Reese Marschall Fuchtel Faires Frühstueck 250The members of the Bundestag exchanged ideas with the representatives of Forum Fairer Handel about how the parliamentarians could lend support to fair trade and further its political objectives within the context of their mandate. Round three conference tables dedicated to specific topics, further discussions were held on promoting fair trade in the parliamentarians’ constituencies, on current developments in fair trade, and on its political objectives, particularly that of the responsibility businesses bear throughout the whole length of their global supply chains, for example within the context of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. It is this topic particularly which demonstrates how important political work as one of the three pillars of fair trade is.

Website of Forum Fairer Handel (in german)
Forum Fairer Handel is the umbrella association of fair trade in Germany. Its objectives are to enhance the profile of fair trade, to lobby politicians and businesspeople to assert its joint demands, and to make significant progress in the expansion of fair trade. Naturland has been an active member of Forum Fairer Handel e.V. since 2012.