8 May 2014

Fair trade cotton takes centre stage in pan-European awards ceremony

Public authorities from France, Austria and the UK were honoured at the inaugural European Fair Cotton Procurement Awards, held in Bremen (Germany) in March. The four winners – the City of Paris (France), the Municipality of Traun (Austria), la Poste (France) and the London School of Economics (UK) - were chosen for significantly increasing purchases of fair-trade products, as well as raising awareness around the issue of fair-trade cotton and encouraging other organisations to follow their example.

The judging process took place in two stages, with a national nomination process followed by a final selection at European level. The Judging Panel comprised the Fair Procurement project team, a member from GET CHANGED! The Fair Fashion Network, a representative of ObSAR (French Observatory of Responsible Purchasing) and a member of the Ethical Fashion Forum. Judges recognised the winners’ commitment in extending their Fair Trade purchases to cotton and the inspiration they will provide to other public bodies.

Presenting the Awards, Secretary General of the National Union of Cotton Producers’ Cooperative Societies of Mali Solobamady Keita said “This Award acknowledges the importance of the people that harvest the cotton, but also the people that wear the Fair Trade clothing. The Fair Trade cotton producers are thankful to the forerunners that have been rewarded today, and would like to see other public authorities in Europe procuring Fair Trade cotton for their work wear”.

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