Media Advisory
Thursday, August 14, 2003


WTO - Cancun
Fair Trade Experts Available

Minneapolis, MN - The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) expressed deep concern over the agricultural trade reform proposal submitted to the World Trade Organization yesterday by a joint European Union-United States committee.

"The clear decision by the US and EU to avoid real commitments to reduce export dumping or to improve the world trade situation for small producers reinforces the need for the positive rules of Fair Trade,” stated IATP’s president, Mark Ritchie.

IATP, who recently published the report “U.S. Dumping on World Agricultural Markets: Can Trade Rules Help Farmers?” is organizing the first International Fair Trade Fair and Sustainable Trade Symposium, to be held in conjunction with the World Trade Organization’s 5th Ministerial Meeting in Cancun Mexico next month. Global leaders will be offered solutions to the social and economic crisis faced by farmers and rural communities worldwide.

"The Fair Trade movement has flourished largely because the current system of world trading rules has failed to respond to the needs of consumers and producers," added Ritchie. "There is a real opportunity for the governments gathering in Cancun to incorporate Fair Trade principles in developing new trade rules, but all indications to date signal their intention to ignore the demands of global civil society for real reform in agricultural trade."

For The following experts are available to discuss the Fair Trade issues and solutions:

  • Mark Ritchie, President, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. In the early 1990’s, Ritchie brought Fair Trade Certification to the U.S. and served on the U.S. Trade Representative's Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee from 1995-2002.
  • Sophia Murphy, Trade Program Director, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Specialist on multilateral institutions, agricultural policies and food security, Sophia has a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Oxford) and an M.S. in Social Policy, Planning and Participation in Developing Countries (London School of Economics).
  • Kari Hamerschlag, Senior Associate for Fair Trade, at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), has worked in international development and advocacy for fifteen years. Previously, she worked as the National Campaign Manager for TransFair USA, the third party certifier for Fair Trade Certified products.

Note: Media credentialing for WTO - deadline is Friday, August 15th. Details at www.wto.gov

For additional Fair Trade information, please visit www.StrausCom.com/cancun, or contact: