Pact of Unity and Commitment
In support of the Small Producers’ Symbol as a key tool for differentiating products in order to safeguard the future of the communities of Organized Small Producers, and to assure genuine fair trade and sustainable production within the current context. March 2012
Background For the last 25 plus years, all around the world, organizations of small producers, solidarity businesses, civil organizations, responsible consumers and others have been fighting for a different type of trade that enables small producers who are democratically organized to access local and international markets; to obtain dignified income that compensates for their efforts in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable production; and to take ownership in their own processes of development and citizen participation. As a result of all these years of collective work, we have been able to construct different realities in the communities of the families of small producers in numerous countries in the South, as well as in consumer patterns and in the awareness of consumer families in both the South and the North. Through actions, we have created a new way of building markets and constructing economic systems that are more ethical, inclusive and fair, and with greater social and ecological responsibility.
Current Situation During this same period, the international economic context and the conventional market have developed in the opposite direction as the path on which we have advanced. Every day we see a greater concentration of economic power in the hands of an increasingly smaller number of business consortiums without nationality. We see major growth in the consumer economy, leading to the disappearance of non-renewable sources of energy and life, such as petroleum, minerals and water. The ecological impact of this runaway, uncontrolled economy is destroying ecological equilibrium with dizzying speed, generating climate changes that in turn affect forms of production and life for millions of families of small producers and consumers around the world, leading to erosion, hunger, migration, poverty and violence. While fair trade markets and markets for organic and sustainable products have grown and have generated quantitative and qualitative benefits for both small producers and consumers, we are finding that the models and opportunities for alternative, sustainable production and trade have been invaded, little by little, by large commercial, industrial and productive corporations. Within these spaces, we can now see the reproduction of phenomena such as disloyal competition, economic concentration and the exclusion of small producers and small and medium-sized companies that work within the principles of democratic participation, self-management and respect for the environment.
Pact in Support of the Small Producers’ Symbol Given the magnitude and intensely destructive impact of these problems in the everyday realities of organizations of small producers, as well as small and medium-sized companies and even consumers, there is an urgent need for a Pact of Unity and Commitment among the those of us stakeholders who have been promoting and placing into practice the values and principles of a different economy and a different society. This is a pact focused precisely on the urgency of consolidating different economic realities and models. This tool, which will allow us, day by day, to come together in this alliance, and work together to safeguard, expand and enhance the different economic, social and ecological realities, is represented by the Small Producers’ Symbol. This initiative has been created by organizations of small producers in the South, and makes it possible to integrate the active participation of different stakeholders into this alliance of principles and practices that bring together and promote the changes and values to which we have professed since we began on this path.
Commitment By placing my name at the bottom of this Pact, I make a commitment, together with my organization or company, to do everything I can, in an active, practical and responsible way, so that very soon the success of the Small Producers’ Symbol initiative will help to assure a promising future for small producers, companies and consumers in solidarity around the world:
48 total signers.