25 April 2002 | Robin Parker
Oxfam has urged purchasers to source more goods from developing countries, even at a higher cost.
Launching its campaign Make Trade Fair, the charity called on western countries to help Africa, Latin America, East Asia and South Asia raise their share of world exports from 3 per cent.
In its report, Rigged Rules and Double Standards, Oxfam says that for every dollar given to poor countries in aid, two dollars are lost in unfair trade.
It wants trade bodies to encourage buyers to pay higher prices to help ease the inequality.
Rosey Hurst, director of ethical trade consultancy Impactt, said it was more important and realistic for buyers to press suppliers to help producers.
"It is intrinsic to make ethical issues part of the deal you cut with suppliers, and to make them know they will be out of the loop if they do not."
Oxfam wants the World Trade Organisation to ensure producers are paid enough to have a reasonable standard of living.
• Rigged Rules and Doubles Standards is available on the web at www.maketradefair.org