In Brazil: First System of Equitable and Solidarity Trade in the world


“Thanks to the decree signed by president Lula da Silva during the plenary meeting of the National Council of Solidarity Economy that took place the 17th November in Brasilia, Brazil now has the first Equitable and Solidarity trade system in the world that is recognized and supported by the state. “Through this system, it will be possible to consolidate and amplify public policies in this sector and render permanent the achievements of the Brazilian workers” declared the president in his speech. The decree creating the National Cooperatives Fostering Program was also signed on this occasion.

The National Equitable and Solidarity System of Trade is a series of parameters to follow during the execution of public policies aimed at creating employment and revenues through actions of promotion of the solidarity economy and of fair trade. Its objectives include supporting consumer education in order to adopt sustainable habits and the organization of consumers to purchase products and services from fair and solidarity trade; reinforcing the national identity of equitable and solidarity trade by publicizing the concept and by adopting practices that are inherent to it; and favouring practices of equitable prices by those who produce, commercialize and consume.

The solidarity economy, affirmed the president, is an alternative for the creation of jobs and revenues, in addition to being a solution to incite the country to adopting sustainable trade habits that are also fair and in solidarity with others. Brazil has been a world reference in this field since 2003 when they created the National Secretariat for the Solidarity Economy. This act bore fruit, as the government has since then instituted a permanent dialogue with civil society in order to bring about the necessary public policies.

“All of these efforts of the government to reinforce the solidarity economy in Brazil have been worth it, but one must recognize that there is still lots to do. The action of this National Secretariat of the Social Economy and the periodic organization of National Conferences will certainly guarantee conditions that will enable the workers of our country to build a solidarity economy network that is ever stronger and more durable” he underlined.

Lula also explained that the high popularity scores of his government amongst Brazilians were due to these types of initiatives, that directly benefit the population, and by the honest relationship that was established between his administration and society from the beginning of his mandate. The president thanked the workers of in the solidarity trade sector for their faith in the government, and asked them to continue to believe in it since, according to him, the president elect Dilma Rousseff “will do more and better” as of January 2011.”

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