Fair trade business standards pushed in Mindanao

It’s not enough to look if products are sold at a low price and at a desired quality, a businessman said adding one should check how these products came into being.

Rommel Agustin, executive director of the Advocate of Philippine Fair Trade Act, Inc. (APFTI), an organization pushing for “an empowered community of entrepreneurs fighting poverty and contributing to sustainable development through fair trade, said.

Agustin joined a group of Department of Trade and Industry officials in promoting the government’s one town one product strategy in a press conference Friday.

He said the practice is relatively new in the country and is still unpopular owing to the dearth of followers. But it has been making waves in Europe where he said consumers are getting more conscious about the processes that businessmen took to produce their products.

He said for now they are just making in roads with the filing of an application for accreditation with the government as they are pushing for a set of standards for fair trade.

He said they are present in only three regions in Mindanao, particularly in Northern Mindanao, Southwestern Mindanao and the Caraga region.

Agustin said the effort espouses not just the production of quality products but also compliance to “fair trade principles.”

He said fair trade is characterized by the payment of fair wages to employees, adherence to sustainable business that protects the environment, respect for children and women, respect for intellectual property, and the provision of good and safe working conditions for workers.

This is not really new and foreign. But will it work? Do they have plans to push it as a requirement for renewing business permits? Will it augur well with the Mindanawon business community?

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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