There is an opportunity for the UK to trade in new ways following Brexit that will benefit producers directly. With the right determination and focus, innovative solutions could be reached that create opportunity for producer countries to trade not only with the UK but also with their neighbours – enabling them to create new products with added value; creating increased productivity, profit and development.
For example, coffee beans from Kenya currently experience zero tariffs on imports to the UK. However, roasted coffee beans from Kenya incur a 7% tariff on imports to the UK. This inhibits growth in jobs and development for the poorest people in our world. Imagine the possibilities if these were removed!
It’s really important that the best market schemes available are used to create new trade agreements that do not undermine poorer countries through an unfair marketplace. Otherwise there is real danger that the huge waves of progress made by campaigners over the last 25 years could just go crashing back down on the very producers we have campaigned tirelessly to empower.
Holme Valley Fairtrade would like to know what actions are the Government taking to ensure the UK will set the gold standard for development focused trade policy – one that will not adversely affect poorer countries through open markets. And we have written to our MP in great detail.
Please could you write your MP too? Even if yours is the same as ours! You can do that via the Fairtrade Foundation here
The UK is signed up to the SDGs, and trade creates opportunity to meet these international commitments on the environment, climate change, women’s empowerment and human rights. There is a real need for the International Development Secretary to ensure any future trade negotiations support sustainable development. Could you ask your MP to contact Liam Fox MP, the International Trade Secretary, and ask if he will champion this?
We realise that there are a lot of different priorities for the UK to Government to consider over the next few years, but as Chair of Holme Valley Fairtrade I want to ensure that producers in developing countries are a priority, and hope that together we can make that happen. This is a time for Fairtrade Campaigners to rediscover their trade justice voice and start shouting.