Cassandre Maury is the Regional Coordinator at Fairtrade International (FLO) for South East Asia and the Pacific. She recently traveled to China and Hong Kong to visit producers and traders.
Fairtrade Hong Kong was created by a few companies who are promoting Fairtrade with the support of OXFAM Hong Kong. Each year they organize a Fairtrade Fortnight event to promote Fairtrade. I was invited to attend the event and give a speech.
The atmosphere was warm and many consumers attended the fair and the companies were able to sell a lot of their Fairtrade products. I had dinner with the people from Fairtrade Hong Kong. They want to strengthen the Fairtrade presence in Hong Kong. They see a lot of potential and the market is growing, but there is a huge need for more awareness among consumers.
The Hong Kong market is quite small, so most of the companies do not have the capacity to import raw materials and transform it into products. They import their Fairtrade products packaged and labelled directly from the UK!!! You can imagine in terms of carbon footprint, it’s a bit of a disaster!!
As a result, the companies from Hong Kong are interested in working more closely with Asian producers to see how they can import already processed/ packaged products from a closer source. This year OXFAM Hong Kong has invited three Fairtrade certified small-producer organizations from Pakistan, Indonesia and China to attend a food fair in May.