Fair Trade for UK Producers? A letter to The Grocer

Julia Glotz’s article in this weeks edition raises some important issues around how to share risk and reward in the UK dairy industry. The Soil Association have successfully launched an Ethical Trade certification which deals with just this issue ( soilassociation.org/ethicaltrade ). We considered setting a minimum price per commodity along the lines of the Fairtrade Foundation but decided that this was too unwieldy and overly bureaucratic. Instead we have utilised a new approach, where every member of the scheme is independently assessed for fair trading relationships, fair employment conditions and for making social and cultural contributions to the community. Two of the companies who have achieved Ethical Trade status are Calon Wen and Yeo Valley, both leading dairy companies. I would commend this approach to all who seek to bring about a fairer deal for UK producers.
Best regards
Simon Wright
Ethical Trade Standards Committee
The Soil Association