The Network Project: SECOND CONFERENCE

Saturday 28th October 2006
London School of Economics, 11am-4pm
"Fair Trade at the Crossroads"

The location is Room D202, 2nd Floor, Clement House, Aldwych, London WC2,
which is the building furthest away from Holborn tube, so Temple station is nearer - see LOCATION MAP

Keynote Speakers:
Claude Moraes, MEP and Paul Chandler (Traidcraft)
with Whitni Thomas (Triodos Bank) and Meredith Cochrane (Fairtrade Foundation)

A conference to explore and discuss the successes and the challenges ahead. The Fair Trade sector always aimed to lead by example. With the entry of Nestlé into the Fair Trade arena, and the spread of Fair Trade products into mainstream supermarkets it has certainly succeeded. But these developments also present some serious challenges: will the larger companies favour larger suppliers over the small producers traditionally supported by Fair Trade organisations? Will they use their Fair Trade brands to “sanitise” the rest of their range? The pressure will be on the Fairtrade Foundation (which hallmarks fair trade goods with the now familiar logo) to make sure the criteria are applied some of the criticism of allowing Nestle to market Fair Trade coffee by pointing out that this only applies to a single product.

Scaling up Fair Trade
The ultimate goal is surely to make all trade “fair trade”. What are the challenges facing the sector as it expands? Will Fair Trade companies and institutions have to change radically?

Not just another brand?
A recent programme on Radio4 gave the impression that fair trade had started in the US in the late 80s, and the American contributors mainly spoke the language of the market – “making the market work for producers”. Traidcraft started in 1979 in this country! And Fair Trade is about building completely different relationships with producers. Not to talk about the role of the producers is missing the point. We don’t have the resources to bring someone over to this country (which would be ideal) but we will have people who regularly work with and for those who grow and make the products we buy.

And what about food miles?
Green activists have expressed reservations about Fair Trade as it happens now: should we be encouraging the shipping of food items around the globe? Wouldn’t it be better to encourage people to produce for local consumption?

Get involved !
If these questions interest you, or you have questions of your own. Then you will enjoy this event. Conference Fee: £30 (concessions available, please enquire).

The Network Project is a non-profit making organisation started by a group of enthusiastic and interested people. We are ordinary grassroots activist who want to do more than attend events run by bigger organisations. We are interested in the social innovations such as social enterprise, community currencies, co-ops and credit unions. We want to explore these new ideas in a political context and look at the underlying ideas. We are particularly interested in the importance of relationships, intelligent decision making, alternative economics and grassroots activity. We are not affiliated to any political party or organisation.

We are grateful to the SE Region of the Co-operative for their support of this conference. Further sponsorship from Fair Trade organisations is welcomed. Space will be available at the conference for stalls. Please link to our website - - and we will place your banner on this page.

Word Downloads: A4 Flier Conference PackView: Conference Pack
To contact the conference organiser, Rosamund Stock call 0845-458-0610. Places are limited, so please register in advance. We will build up further information in preparation for the conference in response to information received on the ENQUIRY/ BOOKING FORM

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