One of the austerity measures in the context of the Troika memorandum for Greece in this year 2017, has been to add a tax for the imported coffee of 2 euro per kg of grain (unroasted) coffee and 3 euro per kg of roasted coffee. This represents an added cost of around 40% of the grain coffee which arrives from the fair trade networks, like the Zapatista Coffee, and a significant increase in the cost of imported packaged and roasted fair trade coffee. This campaign wants to highlight the unfairness of making the fair trade movement pay for what banks and governments should pay, and therefore develop ways of solidarity and disobedience to confront this new situation until it is finished.
Fair trade coffee has been an act of solidarity of equal relations and defence of workers rights, in the south and north, for more than 40 years. This means that when the European Union was formed, the fair coffee trade had already two decades of experience showing true solidarity between the people.
Driven by the neoliberal ideology that promotes structural advantages to the 1%, the austerity politics has been ruling the south of Europe and especially Greece for more than 7 years, without any benefit for the society's living experience. As less and less liquidity is present in the daily life of the greek population, there is less and less capacity to develop themselves with freedom. In fact, it is important to remember that the greek debt that is supposed to be paid with this increment of taxes, has been created mostly by the banking sector without any benefit for the common citizens. As the Greek Debt Truth Committee showed in 2015 the greek government's debts are odious, as they were accumulated in the pursuit of objectives that clearly go against the interests of the population.
Due to all that illegitimate experiences, it is quite problematic to continue on the politics of extending more and more taxes to the already weak economy of the greek people; it is really contradictory to focus on the coffee which is a product of basic consumerism all over Greece. Moreover, what is truly absurd, is to include in these taxes without any distinction, the fair trade coffee. This coffee is an important product of solidarity between peoples of Latin America and Europe and at the same time, the main economic tool for the, still small, solidarity economy networks in Greece, where many cooperative initiatives have the coffee as one of the main tools for self sustainability.
For all these reasons, we announce a long term campaign of full solidarity to the fair trade coffee in Greece and full disobedience to the current Greek Memorandum that rules against the needs of the people.
Because it shows the tenderness of peoples, Fair trade is not for sale.
The concrete actions that we are going to develop from now on, are the following
Summary of the campaign “Fair trade is not for sale”
0. A Cooperative Fair trade project is created for managing this campaign. The platform used will be Fairmarket: http://Market.fair.coop
1. Crowdorder campaign where people pay 25 euro. They will get one kg of fair trade coffee, and the other kg as value of 12.50 euro, will be used to support Greek solidarity coffee distribution. This proposal is open to anyone; individuals, collectives, etc…
The Coffee that the people will get is from a cooperative in Guatemala, Cafe Justicia, who is collaborating with this campaign.
This crowdorder campaign will be open from 9 of May to 28 of September.
Half of the money got by each order will be sent to greek grassroots cooperatives that import fair trade coffee. This will happen between May and November 2017.
2. A second action of the campaign will be contributing to the transport of 1 kg of coffee Cafe Justicia in a travel to Greece. For making this second option possible, a network of warehouses will be created, where people planning to travel will be able to get two kg and deliver one to Greece.
This part of the campaign will take place agter the Coffee is ready in Europe. So, approx since November 2017 and will work in long term as far as the tax is implemented.
The participants in the crowdorder action are also invited to support the coffee disobedient distribution campaign. Additionally, the people who receive one kg of coffee at home, could contribute bringing this same kg to Greece.
We invite any collective to join the manifesto, contribute to the action suggested and develop other proposals too.