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WINFA head addresses EU seminar

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A Seminar hosted by the European Parliament Fair Trade Working Group took place in the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, May 31, 2006 under the theme: “Where EU Purchasing Practices Harm International Development – Can Competition Policy Be Part Of the Solution?”

International trade under the right conditions can help to reduce poverty in developing countries. But some recent trends in purchasing by European retailers are having a harmful effect.{{more}}

Is it time for new public policies to reverse this trend? The seminar explored what public policy options the EU could use to encourage and support better buying practices from developing countries.

This seminar was organized by the Responsible Purchasing Initiative. This on-going venture involves businesses, the International Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and NGOs in a full consultation on what responsible purchasing might look like and the public policies needed to support it. The initiative draws on the practical experience of four European fair trade organisations that trade with suppliers in many developing countries. The initiative advocates that buying should not only benefit consumers and businesses but must also uphold the human rights of international suppliers and their workers and farmers.

The need for public policy solutions to support responsible purchasing were discussed from the perspective of both developing and developed country suppliers, retailers, consumers and experts. Renwick Rose, one of the key speakers presented and answered questions on the practical challenges they experience in supplying EU retailers.

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