Fairtrade Foundation response to CAP reform statements

Aurelie Walker, the Fairtrade Foundation’s Trade Policy Advisor, said: ‘Caroline Spelman’s speech today suggesting the Common Agriculture Policy is ‘morally wrong’ for ‘undercutting producers in developing countries’ represents a potentially significant watershed in attempts to produce meaningful reform of Europe’s €55 billion subsidy regime.

‘The Fairtrade Foundation welcomes the Government’s stated intention to introduce a new moral dimension, linking development to CAP reform. West African cotton farmers have been demanding Brussels end European cotton subsidies. We hope the coalition will match its rhetoric with the determination to ensure the Commission reforms CAP to ensure the world’s poorest farmers are treated fairly and can trade their way out of poverty.’

Per pound of cotton, the EU hands out the largest amount of subsidies in the world. In 2009/10 average assistance per head produced in the EU was $2.51 costing European taxpayers $353 million. This compared with US government support to its cotton farmers of $0.14.

65% of cotton subsidies to European farmers have been decoupled from production but critically, 35% remains in the form of a payment specific to cotton production. In most other European agriculture sectors, 90% of payments have been decoupled.

The FAIRTRADE Mark is a certification mark and a registered trademark of Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) of which the Fairtrade Foundation is the UK member. The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label is now recognised by 74% of UK consumers and appears on products as a guarantee that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal.

The FAIRTRADE Mark is the only label which gives groups of farmers and producers the means to improve their livelihoods through the guaranteed minimum price and premium for social, environmental and business projects. Around 7.5 million people (farmers, workers, their families and communities) – across 58 developing countries in the developing world benefit from the international Fairtrade system.

Source: Fairtrade Foundation

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