Spanish fair-trade foundation COPADE last year doubled the number of projects sponsored in Spain and abroad aimed at promoting the use of sustainable fair-trade practices and raising awareness among Spanish businesses and consumers of the benefits of fair trade, according to a report on the foundation’s 2019 activities issued this week.
The foundation, which has received numerous awards for its championing of the use of environmentally sustainable products in European markets, says it doubled the number of projects sponsored last year to 16. Headlining the new projects was the launch of its award-winning Gaia & Coast initiative, making gourmet, organic and fair-trade food products from small cooperative producers in Ecuador available to Spanish consumers through a countrywide network of vending machines, specialized gourmet stores, supermarket and department stores.
Another of COPADE’s initiatives during 2019 was its collaboration with the Spanish affiliate of France’s mega DIY home-improvement retailer Leroy Merlin in setting up the prize-winning Madera Justa (“Just Wood”) program, by which Leroy Merlin sells Pucté and Santa María tropical hardwoods from the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala’s Petén region that have been pre-certified as produced using environmentally sustainable and fair-trade practices.
In collaboration with the regional community of Madrid, the foundation also launched a pilot project last year called Huella Social (“Social Footprint”), designed to enable Spanish retailers and consumers to clearly measure the positive social impact that selling or buying fair-trade products actually has on the communities in developing countries in which the goods are produced.
The pilot program is being tested by the Fundación Maquita among Gaia & Coast producers in the Ecuadoran provinces of Cotopaxi, Chimborazo e Imbabura, and if successful will be rolled out for use in Spain and other consumer countries as a seal of social approval for fair-trade sustainable products.
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