By Eva IZQUIERDO
Cheap prices are no longer the only driver for consumers. A growing number of Europeans are demanding information about the origin of the products they consume.
Today a petition was delivered to the European Commission calling on the EU to support a UN treaty which will bring greater fairness to international trade.
The European Environmental Bureau’s (EEB) ‘Justice for My Cookies’ campaign highlighted the use of palm oil in foods and the negative impact it has on people and the environment.
The EEB is the largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations in Europe with around 140 members in more than 30 countries.
Over 7,500 signatures were collected as part of the campaign which saw many Europeans take a stance against the environmental damage and human rights abuses within product supply chains.
Eva Izquierdo, Global Policies Project Officer at the European Environmental Bureau said: "Citizens, business and policy makers get lost in a myriad of agreements and voluntary measures that regulate each commodity. We propose simplicity. One single alternative to regulate abuses in global supply chains: the UN treaty.”
This week the first draft of the UN Treaty will be discussed in Geneva by the Intergovernmental working group of business and human rights of the United Nations. Contrary to other UN treaties, this one will be mandatory for the signing parts. The UN Treaty will mean that the operations of any corporation around the world will be regulated and that corporate abuses in all supply chains will be punished. It is an ambitious project that once becomes a reality will bring solutions to numerous global problems, particularly the ones that indigenous peoples are suffering because their traditional land rights are being ignored and they are being displaced by corporations from their homelands.
This petition is part of an joint effort from the SUPPLY CHA!NGE project whose aim is to improve the labour conditions in the Global South and at the same time reduce environmental damage all along the food supply chains.
All the petitions of this project focused on products coming from the Global South such as orange, cocoa or palm oil that we consume daily in Europe. These petitions were backed by independent scientific reports conducted in the countries of production that gathered evidences of human rights abuses such as child labour, slave labour, low wages, health and safety problem for workers. Besides, environmental issues like biodiversity loss, pesticides and water and land pollution were common to all the reports.
Published on EEB on October 23, 2017.