At CLAC, we recognize the great efforts and dedication of small producers and workers in every step of a journey that began two decades ago, uniting close to 1,000 organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 325,000 producers and 27,000 workers.
Today, our decision-making bodies and staff have solidified to respond to the multiple challenges facing our members, including climate change, pandemics, the market crisis, growing social and environmental demands, as well as rising production costs.
As CLAC we feel highly committed to promote and generate the changes that our members need, working hand in hand with producers and workers in very challenging times. Once again it is time to act, raise our voices, join forces, and make a public call to the urgency of creating social, economic and environmental justice for our families and communities, as promoted by the Sustainable Development Goals.
CLAC’s Board of Directors and staff have taken on the great responsibility of developing strategies and interventions to address climate change, not only by providing guidance to producers in our region, but also to regions and Producer Networks in Africa and Asia. The center of excellence formed for this purpose will provide supplies to our sustainable production team and Product Networks to ensure that the proposed interventions are implemented and bear fruit.
As small-scale producers we know that environmental sustainability is key to achieving social and economic justice, and Fairtrade is the ultimate answer to attaining it. Minimum prices, premiums, services, and the strong commitment of our buyers over time have created unique capacities and synergies to respond to multiple challenges, leading with the challenges of climate, access and respect for rights and mitigating the growing commercial injustice in conventional value chains.
Changing the traditional trade model is necessary and urgent, not only in global chains, but also in local chains. There are many opportunities to develop Fairtrade markets in our countries. The COVID pandemic has not only created greater social and environmental awareness among consumers, but it has also generated preferences for local purchasing.
In this period of our strategic plan 2022-2024, we will continue our advocacy work at global, regional, national, and local levels, promoting a fairer and more equitable trade model, ellaborating products with values and contributing to the food sovereignty of our families, peoples and the world.
In short, we are convinced that together we will make the future of our region fairer, thanks to the leadership and commitment of our producers and workers in and with Fairtrade.
Marike de Peña
President of CLAC’s Board of Directors for the period 2022-2024