Thursday, 20 December 2007

First Fairtrade week in Estonia

A Fairtrade week – a well established tradition in most consumer societies – was initiated for the first time in Estonia in 12-18 November, 2007. A thematic week was organized by the Estonian Green Movemement, an NGO which actively advocates responsible consumption and sustainable ways of life, and acts as a focal point for Fairtrade activities in Estonia.

Retail activities focused on tastings and a lottery which awarded the winner with Oke Fairtrade fruits in the amount of the winner's weight! The central activities and media attention was on the special guests from Tanzania, Finland and the Netherlands. A fairtrade coffee farmer Mr. John Kanjagaile, representing 60 000 coffee farmers at the coast of Lake Victoria, was met by the Foreign Affairs Committee chair at Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) calling for the Members of Parliament to follow the steps of the European Parliament and the Nordic counterparts to switch to Fairtrade coffee and tea.

Photo: Mr. John Kanjagaile of Kagera Cooperatives Union of Tanzania at the opening of a photo exhibiton presenting Fairtrade coffee to Mr. Peeter Müürsepp, Rector of Audentes International University on November 14, 2007.

The Estonian Chamber of Commerce hosted a morning coffee and discussion with Fairtrade gurus such as Mr. Erkki Toivanen, Fairtrade Goodwill Ambassador in Finland, Mrs. Ilona Hofstra of Max Havelaar Netherlands and Mr. Jeroen Kroezen of Agrofair fruit company. The event which attracted a wide audience of retailers, enterprises, media and NGOs was supported by the Royal Dutch Embassy in Tallinn, Association for Promoting Fairtrade in Finland and the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute.

Photo: Mr. Erkki Toivanen, Fairtrade Goodwill Ambassador of Finland and a retired BBC journalist talks at the seminar: "Fairtrade - following the Dutch Example" in Tallinn during the Fairtrade week on November 15, 2007.

A special title “Fairtrade Friend” was awarded to Open Estonia Foundation as the first organization using Fairtrade products in its office and events, and for its committed support of global justice issues. A photo exhibition on the life of Fairtrade farmers in Nicaragua was displayed in Audentes International University, which continues to be shown in various public locations next year. Fairtrade week is planned annually in the fall.

For more information, please see or contact: Riina Kuusik, Fairtrade project manager, at:

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