Development and the objective of achieving economic progress and strategies for poverty reduction in developing countries is a strong focus of the EU’s efforts in the World Trade Organisation. Fair trade was in the centre of attention as the King Baudouin Foundation handed over its bi-annual Development Prize to International Fairtrade Labelling Organisations, on 27 May 2003.
Taking into account the multiplier effect in the work of organisations entered to win this prize, International Fairtrade Labelling Organisations (FLO, Germany) was found to be the best example regarding the opportunities it gives to the people of lesser developed countries to take control of their development.
The FLO aims at improving the position of disadvantaged producers in the developing world by setting Fairtrade standards. Through its National Labelling Initiatives, the FLO makes sure that producers are paid a price that covers the costs of sustainable production and living; a premium is paid, which producers and workers can decide to invest in development; and that the contracts signed allow for long-term planning and sustainable production practices.
The King Baudouin Foundation's International Development Prize is awarded every two years to an organisation that makes a significant contribution to the advancement of developing countries. The Prize has been given out every other year since 1980, together with a 150,000 euro contribution. Former Prize winners includeFundecor(Costa Rica), theHuman Rights Commission of Pakistan, theLandless Peasants' Movement(Brazil), as well as theAIDS Support Organization(Uganda).