Taiwan Church News
November 2 - 8, 2015
Taiwan Certified As The 8th Member State Of Fairtrade Marketing Organization
Reported by Chen Yi-hsuan
After the widespread promotion of the fairtrade idea in Taiwan for years, more and more people become used to buying the products compliant to fairtrade standards, especially when the daily necessities like coffee or olive oil is purchased. Now people wish to buy a quality product with a good price and care for the welfare beings of the produce growers at the place.
Through the promotion and education of the idea of fairtrade by Taiwan's Fairtrade Marketing Association(FMA) in the past 5 years, Taiwan is successfully certified in 2015 as the 8th member state of Fairtrade Marketing Organization(FMO) which is an institute under Fairtrade International(FI). To celebrate this event, via a signatory ceremony with FI, Taiwan branch office of FMO is officially unveiled on October 27 in Taipei. It means Taiwan's fairtrade movement enters into a new epoch: FMO Taiwan Office could authorize, promote and certify the universal fairtrade logo and her standards.
Within this Taiwan FMO office opening and signatory ceremony, many special guests are invited to witness this historical moment, including Mr Martin Hill (FI HQ representative), Mrs Rahmah(chair woman of Indonesian Fairtrade Coffee Cooperatives), representative from FLO-Cert, Mrs Feng Yen(Minister without Portofolio of Executive Yuan), Mr Lin Chung-chieh( Commissioner of Department of Economic Development at Taipei City Government) and etc. Up to date, there are seven FMO offices in seven countries, including Brazil, Hong Kong, Czech, India, Kenya, Slovac, South Korea. And now the 8th member state in FMO is Taiwan.
Mr Martin Hill, representing FI, affirms the effort of Taiwan to promote fairtrade. Toward a common vision of social justice, Taiwan is very much welcomed to join FMO, he says. Mr Andrea Richert, an FMO marketing manager in emerging market, expresses that FMO Taiwan office is very potential to promote fairtrade in Taiwan because both government and civil community have a great consensus to support it.
As a matter of fact, since 8 May 2015, the fairtrade produces have been started a sale among 6 bookstores of Taiwan Church Press(TCP). Inviting the church members and the citizens to care for God's creation, many produces like "okogreen" coffee beans, oilive oil, Southern Africa tea and etc. A Fiartrade Tea Room is also set up inside Taiwan Church Press, providing fair coffee to refresh the staff and help the growers overseas.
Rev. Fang Lan-ting, president of TCP, remarks that people actually can help a poor coffee farmer far away in another continent, if he could purchase a fairtrade coffee instead of sticking to his old habits. This is a confessional act to stand for our Christian faith as "Be friendly to the earth" and "Reduce the inequality".
Ms Yu Wang-ru, chair woman of FMA, says that to establish a fair and just society FMO shall do their best efforts to fight against Taiwan's "black-heart-foods"(conscientiousless foods) manufacturing culture, campaign for an ethical consumption and promote the ideas of fairtrade.
Translated by Peter Wolfe