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UK: Fairtrade Foundation rejects calls for single retail priceThe Fairtrade Foundation has rejected the idea of a standardised RRP pricing structure for fairtrade bananas, saying that it would be open to legal challenge.
The recommendation to do so came about as result of a report commission by the foundation. The report, produced by the University of Sussex, claimed that the fixing of a recommended price for the bananas was one way in which productivity could be increased.
However, the Foundation fears that such a move would be in contravention of domestic and EU competition legislation.
“While we welcome suggestions on ways to increase returns for all actors in the supply chain, the specific call for a single rsp applying to all Fairtrade bananas is not implementable”, it said.
Article 101 of the Treaty of Lisbon categorically prohibited any agreement or decision by an association that directly or indirectly fixed purchase or selling prices or stated any other such conditions, it said.
The study also suggested regular reviews of the minimum prices involved in the purchasing of fairtrade bananas - something the Foundation has accepted. In 2010 the first price revision since 2005 took place.
Other suggestions included preferential treatment to small producer groups when granting accreditation. This was also rejected as not be in keeping with the ideology of the Foundation, which said it was opposed to discrimination, positive or otherwise.
The report concluded that Fairtrade categorically improved workers' living standards, created more stable incomes and lowered the risk of poverty.
Publication date: 2/27/2012
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