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October 20, 2008

SIAL: Fairtrade used as “sales tool”

Food companies use fairtrade certification schemes as a sales tool rather than a way to help producers and workers, Trade Union director Frédéric Honegger told just-food on the fringes of food industry summit SIAL in Paris yesterday (19 September).

Food companies use fairtrade certification schemes as a sales tool rather than a way to help producers and workers, Trade Union director Frédéric Honegger told just-food on the fringes of food industry summit SIAL in Paris yesterday (19 September).

“Fair trade labels are being used as a sales point rather than a tool to help growers,” Honegger said. “It’s more important for me to pay producers properly for their crops than to have a label that says my goods are fairly traded.”

For this reason, Honegger’s Madagascar-based spice business has abandoned plans for formal accreditation.

The cost of a one-year accreditation certificate is hard to justify when the money could be spent with producers, Honegger observed.

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