Friday, 29 December 2017

Green Liberty: Sixth Six Months of M4D (2)

Fairtrade Friendly

Since 2013 Green Liberty is actively involved in awareness raising about Fair Trade movement. The last six months of M4D were dedicated to refreshing our activities connected to Fair Trade Friendly recognition, organizing an outdoor campaign in Riga about Fair Trade and Fair Trade Friendly recognition, organizing an international meeting of representatives of Baltic region CSOs that deal with Fair Trade issues in their countries, organizing the official opening of the Fair Trade Friendly recognition, and planning national level cooperation with the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to connect individual initiatives for youth – Fair Trade Ambassador – to its Young Reporters for the Environment program that empowers young people to take a stand on environmental issues and gives them a platform to articulate their observations through the media of writing, photography or video. 


The label “We choose Fair Trade” gives recognition and support for Fair Trade friendly organizations, companies, institutions, communities or groups of people. The goal of refreshing Fair Trade Friendly recognition process and criteria is to be rather ambitions – we strive to create common Baltic area of Fair Trade Friendly recognition. To do it we have agreed with our EST colleagues from Mondo to use their logo with Latvian translation. The logo has already been used to award the Estonian Fair Trade friendly organizations, producers, supermarkets, stores and schools since 2014.

According to the current revisions Green Liberty provides the label “We choose Fair Trade” in six categories: (1) cafes, restaurants and hotels, (2) shops, including booths, confectionery and drinks vending machines and online shops, (3) business and shared offices, communities, (4) producers of goods, (5) educational institutions, (6) individual initiatives for youth: Fair Trade Ambassador. For each category, we have set the minimum requirements and additional recommendations for employee and customer awareness raising.

To apply for the label “We choose Fair Trade”, a representative of an organization, a company, an institution, a community or a group of people should fill out an application that will be available in Green Liberty webpage since mid-January 2018.

Outdoor Campaign

Our outdoor campaign to raise society’s awareness about Fair Trade is organized in two sections. In the first section banners were displayed in Riga: in outdoor advertising stands from September 11 to September 24, 2017 and in several shopping centres from September 8 to October 1, 2017. The second section is going on from November 22, 2017, and is located not only in Riga but also in several other biggest towns.

Outdoor banners invite everyone to think about the beginning of the supply chain of our favourite global products that we use every day – coffee, chocolate, bananas, to purchase Fair Trade products, and to engage in the movement of Fair Trade friends.

The banners are developed in cooperation with the agency "Armadillo". Campaign posters in bus or tram stops and shopping centers are hosted in partnership with JCDecaux and Clear Channel, see here:

Baltic meeting of Fair Trade promoters  

On November 27, 2017 we invited our colleagues who deal with Fair Trade issues and organize Fair Trade Friendly recognitions in other Baltic countries to come to an informal meeting. The aim pf the meeting was strengthen joint Baltic Fair Trade Friendly space: to share national success stories, to learn form colleagues, and to plan further cooperation. Seven participants: Jaanus Välja representing Mondo from Estonia, Tomas Kurapkaitis and Milda Lukoseviciute representing Litdea from Lithuania, Andrzej Żwawa representing Fairtrade Polska from Poland, Valters Kinna, Sanita Rībena and Inga Belousa representing Green Liberty from Latvia took place in this meeting. 

Opening of the Fair Trade Friendly recognition 

After the informal Baltic meeting of Fair Trade promoters, we organized the official opening event Why to choose Fair Trade products? of the campaign “We choose Fair Trade” in Birojnica, Dzirnavu street 84 k-2, Riga. We organized this event to meet Fair Trade friendly organizations, enterprises, institutions, schools and non-formal groups from Latvia who provide and use Fair Trade products in their daily life and to encourage them to apply for the labelling “We choose Fair Trade”. For all 20 participants it was a great success to meet Fair Trade Friendly promoters from other Baltic countries.

In the opening event of the campaign “We choose Fair Trade” we heard and shared four stories of different Fair Trade stakeholders:
  1. To buy or not to buy cheap products produced in developing countries? – shared by a Teacher Naw Kham from Myanmar
  2. What is the production of fair and unfair products in developing countries? – shared by Lāsma Ozola, a Latvian journalist who has traveled to banana plantations in Costa Rica
  3. How to recognize a Fair Trade friendly company? – shared by representatives of Fair Trade passionate CSOs: Jaanus Välja, ex-MONDO, EST; Andrzej Żwawa, Fairtrade Polska, PT; Tomas Kurapkaitis, Milda Lukoseviciute, LITDEA, LT; Valters Kinna, Zaļā brīvība, LV
  4. What are benefits for the company from the use of Fair Trade products? – a joint discussion about Fair Trade and Fair Trade Friendly recognition. 

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