The Scottish Fair Trade Forum welcomes the new EU public procurement Directive, voted for on 15th January, which makes it easier for public sector bodies to buy Fair Trade goods. The EU Fair Trade Advocacy Office said that the new law, which was voted for by a large majority of Members of the European Parliament, “confirms the direction set by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the “North Holland” case ruling (Commission vs Netherlands C‑368/10), which for the first time clarified that public contracts can award additional points to products ‘of fair trade origin’.” The Directive allows tender documents to refer to certification schemes as proof of the Fair Trade credentials of a product. It is expected that the law will come into effect in March 2014, after which time EU Member States will have two years to incorporate it into their national laws.
Martin Rhodes, Director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, says that “This new Directive should give confidence to public sector bodies who wish to make procurement choices that have a beneficial effect on producers in developing countries. As one of the world’s only two Fair Trade Nations, Scotland is leading the way internationally in this area and the new law will help to increase our commitment to Fair Trade even further.”