LO and Fairtrade
Fair trade is an important issue on the LO international agenda. Engagement with the Fairtrade certification scheme complements LO's international work.
Fairtrade products are allowed to be produced and sold only if a certain set of standards is fulfilled. These criteria are inter alia based on fundamental human rights in working life, in particular the ILO Core Conventions on freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining and against forced labour, child labour and discrimination.
Fairtrade standards also cover wage levels and determine guaranteed minimum product prices, resulting in long-term trading relationships and agreements between producers and buyers. Furthermore, the criteria regulate working conditions for employed workforce as regards health and safety. In addition, there are standards aiming to improve environment and promote ecological production.
More than 1 million farmers and workers in about 50 countries benefit from selling Fairtrade labelled products, a figure that increases every year. With family members included, the number of people affected by Fairtrade is more that 5 million.
Read more on the international website.
LO's work with Fairtrade
LO is a member of the Association for Fairtrade, which is engaged in increasing the interest and demand for Fairtrade labelled products in Sweden. LO is, together with the Church of Sweden, part-owner of the Company Fairtrade Sweden, which owns the trade mark and decides who is to sell the products.
LO is furthermore engaged in strengthening the activities of Fairtrade International regarding workers' rights. Cooperation between trade union organisations at local level and Fairtrade in the countries of production is an important issue in order to create an improved social dialogue. Another vital matter is distribution of resources and trade union knowledge of those carrying out inspections. Fairtrade International has an advisory committee for workers' rights, in which two Global Unions are represented. Since the summer of 2012, former LO president, Ms Wanja Lundby-Wedin, has been a member of the board of Fairtrade International.
In Sweden there are over fifty so-called Fairtrade Cities. Fairtrade City is a certification for municipalities that are engaged in fair trade and ethic consumption. The work at municipal level is pursued by a steering committee, which often includes trade union representatives.
You can read more on the Swedish website.