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Seoul aims to become fair trade city

By Kim Young-won

Published : May 10, 2012 - 19:42

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Seoul City is joining a global movement to assist farmers in poor countries and protect the environment with the ethical and fair trade of produce.

The city plans to adopt a declaration and launch a range of events on Saturday to mark World Fair Trade Day, officials said Thursday.

The statement will include five goals including establishing related laws, a government-civilian committee and a center for research and education. The city will also launch campaigns to expand the use of fair trade produce and heighten the awareness of trade justice.
Civic activists promote fair trade in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap News) Civic activists promote fair trade in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap News)

“This event will be a stepping stone for Seoul city to become a fair trade city, and the city will support producers in underdeveloped countries” said Mayor Park Won-soon, who launched a fair trade movement for the first time in Korea 10 years ago.

The “Fairtrade” initiative started 10 years ago in a small English town, Garstang, to provide due compensation for farmers in Third World countries and encourage them to use environmentally friendly ways.

Now it has become an international movement with around 1,100 cities and towns in 23 nations including Brussels in Belgium, Vancouver in Canada, and Oxford in the U.K.

“The announcement to become a fair trade city is meaningful in that Korea as a beneficiary-turned-benefactor country has a responsibility to meet the needs of the international community,” the city government said in a statement.

The World Fair Trade Day is on the second Saturday of May every year. Various events are organized in more than 70 countries.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)