Vietnamese companies learn about the opportunities and requirements of Fair Trade

23 November 2011
ITC News

Companies in Vietnam are insufficiently aware of market trends in the West that increasingly favour products produced in a socially responsible or sustainable manner. Against this background, ITC, in partnership with Fair Trade Original, organized a Fair Trade training workshop in Hanoi on 9-10 November 2011.

Fair Trade is a growing market segment which aims to offer better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Traditionally dominated by Fair Trade certified companies, large retailers in the developed world are increasingly embracing Fair Trade (and other social certificates), as a responsible way of doing business. The ITC organized training aimed to strengthen the awareness of craft-exporting companies and producer groups on the importance of Fair Trade, the opportunities and requirements of Fair Trade, and sparked the interest of these companies to become more Fair Trade.

The training, which was facilitated by Ms. Connie Valkhoff of Fair Trade Original, a large Fair Trade wholesaler from the Netherlands, explained to producer groups, as well as companies, the ten principles of Fair Trade, including creating opportunities for disadvantaged producers, paying a fair price, transparency and accountability, adopting fair working conditions, respect for the environment, etc. The ten Fair Trade principles are squarely based on SA8000, a global social accountability standard developed by Social Accountability International (SAI).

During the training company representatives, including a large number of representatives from ethnic minority producer groups from Nghe An and Hoa Binh provinces, took a critical look at themselves, rating their performance against the ten Fair Trade principles, and coming up with plans to becoming more ‘fair-trade’ in the future. As it turned out, several companies unconsciously already comply with a large number of the Fair Trade principles, but never realized the importance of communicating these values.

To read more, please visit the Green Production and Trade website.