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Indonesia: Govt urges more local exporters to obtain fair trade certificationWednesday, October 14, 2015 > 12:24:31
The government has called on local home accessories and home textile manufacturers to obtain fair trade certification to boost their competitive advantage in developed markets, where demand for fair trade certified products is growing.The Trade Ministry, along with the Netherlands’ center for promotion of imports from developing countries (CBI), is holding a two-day training on fair trade for local home décor and home textile exporters on Monday and Tuesday.
“Fair trade certification will be a tool to improve our exported products’ competitiveness within the international market,” said the Trade Ministry’s director for export development cooperation, Doddy Edward.
Doddy said that the fair trade labels were of importance as most Indonesian home décor and home textile products were exported to Europe and other developed markets, where concerns about how products are made were rising.
Expressing a similar view, CBI’s expert for home decoration, Kees Bronk, said that many European consumers nowadays had become more demanding of assurances that the products they bought were well-made, good for the environment and not did not involve child labor in their production.
Bronk argued that demand from the European market for fair trade labeled home décor and home textile products would grow just like it had in the food sector, where fair trade products have now won a share of around 40 percent of the European food market.In home décor and home textiles, European countries have been among Indonesia’s top export destinations. Indonesian home décor product exports hit US$1.13 billion during the January-July period this year, with 37.9 percent going to the US, 9.8 percent going to Japan and 5.53 percent going the UK, according to Trade Ministry data.
Exports of home textile products, meanwhile, stood at $31.3 million during the same period, of which 23.23 percent were exported to Japan, 8.7 percent to Germany and 8.3 percent to the US.According to Laily Suharlina Mahalli, a fair trade trainer with the CBI, less than 10 percent of the total Indonesian home décor and home textile exported products were fair trade certified. “[…] compared to other countries like Nepal and Bangladesh, there are only a handful of Indonesian exporters that have obtained fair trade certifications,” she told reporters.Hani Wardani Duarsa, the owner of Bali-based home décor and homewares firm Mitra Bali Fair Trade, said that there were only six Indonesian companies with fair trade certification, a far cry from the hundreds of companies in India. Established in 1993, Mitra Bali Fair Trade obtained its fair trade certificate in 2000, with its sales growing by around 60 percent afterwards, according to Hani.
Fair trade is a social movement whose stated goals is to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainability.There are 10 principles that traders must meet to obtain fair trade certification, including no child labor, gender equality and respect for the environment.