sexta-feira, 19 de junho de 2009

Over 440 European Parliament candidates pledge to support Fair Trade

Over 440 European Parliament candidates pledge to support Fair Trade
05 June 2009
5 June 2009 (Brussels) – Over 440 candidates running for the European Parliament elections have made a pledge to support Fair Trade and to ensure that the needs of marginalised producers and workers in the South are reflected across all European Union policy areas, if elected.

Sergi Corbalán, Coordinator of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, a joint initiative of the four main Fair Trade networks WFTO, FLO, EFTA and NEWS!, stated: “We are pleased to see that over 440 candidates, irrespective of their political group and country, have made a pledge to support Fair Trade. We look forward to the candidates’ support in bridging the gap between EU policies and EU citizens´ support for Fair Trade and thank the candidates for their support. We would also like to thank all those Fair Trade organisations and individuals that have been approaching the political parties and candidates, engaging in debates and gaining support for Fair Trade”.

The objective of the Pledge for Fair Trade campaign was to raise awareness about the situation of marginalised producers and workers in the South and seek the political commitment to tackle the obstacles preventing marginalised producers and workers in the South to trade their way out of poverty.

The campaign was implemented with the active support of a large number of Fair Trade organisations and supportive individuals across Europe. Many activities at national and regional level took place in the context of the World Fair Trade Day, organized by the World Fair Trade Organization. The list of candidates having made the pledge, as well as photos and personal statements, are available at:

The text of the pledge reads: If elected as Member of the European Parliament (2009-2014):
I will strive to ensure that the European Parliament and other EU Institutions give, as far as possible, public support to Fair Trade. In particular, I will do my best to ensure that the needs of marginalised producers and poor workers in the South are reflected across all EU policy areas and adequate EU support is made available for Fair Trade projects that help them to trade their way out of poverty.

quarta-feira, 17 de junho de 2009, one stop Fair Trade shop, one stop Fair Trade shop
15 June 2009
sn202012.jpgPlanning to sell Fair Trade wares or needing more supplies? No need to google them or spend valuable time searching the web! There is a one stop shop of wide array of Fair Trade products –

Buyers and consumers are guaranteed you are buying Fair Trade products on the You can stop worrying now whether you are buying genuine Fair Trade product or not. The new online market assures the goods are authentic Fair Trade produced by WFTO members who are 100% committed to Fair Trade Principles. is a network market that promotes Fair Trade products of small-scale producers, farmers and artisans. It is an advertising platform that links you directly to the producers. It is easy to use with search panels for products, country of origin and price range.

This network market was offered to WFTO free of charge by PEOPLink, a US-based non-profit organisation helping grassroots artisans connect with buyers through the Internet and, thus improving their terms of trade. PEOPLink CEO Dan Salcedo said the goal is to “have all products of WFTO producers promoted in one or more searchable network markets where buyers can purchase them directly from certified Fair Trade producers.”

terça-feira, 16 de junho de 2009

How the Wall Street bankers bought Congres

Petrino DiLeo looks at how Wall Street has been able to block financial services reform, thanks to members of Congress who eagerly do the banks' bidding.

How the bankers bought Congress (Eric Ruder | SW)

YOU WOULD think that causing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression might have repercussions. You would think being a major factor in the destruction of around 40 percent of the world's wealth might get you in trouble. You would think being the cause of the worst housing crisis in history--with millions of people losing their homes because of you--might force a restructuring of how Wall Street does things.

You would think that. But you'd be wrong.

For Wall Street's lobbyists in Washington, it's business as usual. Since Barack Obama took office, the bankers have succeeded in pushing through bogus "stress tests" of financial institutions' solvency, escaping tougher government oversight, and steamrolling attempts to give working-class borrowers a break.

Even the much-hyped limits on CEO pay are being rolled back. In mid-June, Barack Obama lifted a five-month-old limit on executive compensation at financial firms that took federal bailout money. Apparently, only $500,000 a year in salaries and other perks was just too much of a sacrifice for the financial system to bear. Instead, Obama has established a "special master of compensation," who will decide on pay to top executives at banks still reliant on government money.

While having a "special master" oversee pay might sound like a big deal, the banks aren't sweating it. "Our people kind of thought it was a non-event," one unnamed executive of a large bank told the Washington Post. "I don't think there are worries about it on Wall Street." And, the executive added, "It's not like the horrible and unethical action from Congress, where they were putting artificial caps on pay or trying to steal back bonuses."

The sense of entitlement on display in comments like these is staggering--as if the "wizards" of Wall Street deserve the billions in compensation showered upon them in the past decade for producing what has proved to be fictitious wealth, while destabilizing the economy and destroying the lives of people across the U.S.

As for legislation aimed at stemming the kinds of predatory lending practices that helped exacerbate the housing bubble and ultimately triggered the financial crisis, Senate Banking Committee Chair Christopher Dodd recently said, "We've got a lot on our plate. We've got other things to do."

Apparently, however, one of those "other things to do" was not passing "cramdown" legislation--a measure that would have enabled bankruptcy court judges to lower the principal on existing mortgages for homeowners facing foreclosure, thereby helping people to keep their homes. In that bill, defeated in early May, the Senate sided with banks over homeowners by a 51-45 margin.

Housing rights activists estimate the legislation could have staved off 1.7 million foreclosures and preserved $300 billion in home equity. Nevertheless, a dozen Democrats in Senate voted against it.

Complete article here