2022 aasta veebruarist on Fairtrade organisatsioonis tööl eestlanna, kes vastutab Õiglase kaubanduse tegevuste eest just Eestis, Lätis ja Leedus.
Esimest korda ajaloos
Rahvusvahelisse ja ülemaailmselt tuntuimasse ning usaldusväärseimasse õiglase kaubanduse organisatsiooni Fairtrade International kuuluv Fairtrade Finland (Reilu kauppa ry) vastutab selle eest, et Õiglase kaubanduse tooted oleks teada ja saadaval Soomes, Eestis, Lätis ja Leedus. Ka nimetatud riikide tootjate, kes soovivad Fairtrade sertifikaadiga toorainet kasutada, litsenseerimine ja tegevuste juhendamine ning toetamine on organisatsiooni väga oluline roll. Tehakse koostööd nii maaletoojate, edasimüüjate, jae- ja hulgikaubandusega, HoReCa sektoriga kui mõjuorganisatsioonidega ja panustatakse rahvusvahelistesse arengukoostööd puudutavatesse tegevustesse. Fairtrade Finland juhib lisaks ka Fairtrade Internationali inimõigustealast tööd.
Sel aastal loodi Fairtrade Finlandi juurde ametikoht, mis abistab Õiglase kaubanduse teadlikkust tõsta just Baltikumis. Juba praegu on Eestis, Lätis ja Leedus müügil üle 500 erineva Fairtrade märgisega toote nii puuviljade, lillede, kohvi, suhkru, kakao, tee, šokolaadi ja maiustuste, jäätiste, puuvilla, vürtside, kuivainete kui kosmeetika ja hügieenitarvete seas. Kindlasti aitab Õiglase kaubanduse levikule kaasa inimene, kes on Eestis kohal ja saab soove ning vajadusi kaardistada just kohalikku turgu arvestades.
Loe ajakirjanik Sanna Jäppineni Fairtrade Finlandi tarvis tehtud inglise keelset intervjuud Baltimaade Fairtrade kliendihaldur Jana Jesminiga:
The new Account Manager strengthens Fairtrade’s role in the Baltic States
“I see no reason why the Fairtrade awareness in the Baltic States wouldn´t reach the level of Nordic countries,” says Jana Jesmin. From now on, she is the first contact point for all the Baltic companies, communities and consumers interested in Fairtrade.
Corporate responsibility and responsible consumption have grown significantly in recent years in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – and this is also reflected in the demand for Fairtrade products. The best-selling Fairtrade products are coffee, chocolate, bananas and flowers, and the driving forces behind sales have been among others especially Prismas in Estonia and Lidl in Lithuania.
“Sales of Fairtrade products in the Baltic States are currently showing double-digit growth, and I believe the trend will continue,” says Janne Sivonen, the Executive Director of Fairtrade Finland. Fairtrade Finland has now decided to increase its resources in the Baltics, and one major reform is the establishment of a new position of Account Manager. “Local civil society, especially Mondo in Estonia, Green Liberty in Latvia and Litdea in Lithuania have played a key role in raising the profile and awareness of Fairtrade,” Sivonen continues. “I trust that our good cooperation with these organizations will proceed in the future, now becoming even better with the help of local Account Manager.”
Jana Jesmin, you started as an Account Manager for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in Fairtrade Finland in February. Previously, Fairtade Finland operated in the Baltics via partners – what will change?
This makes a huge difference! A dedicated person specially for the Baltic States creates an opportunity for the Baltic organizations, companies, businesses, associations and communities to join a big multinational Fairtade organization – and it shows how important Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are.
Our partners will get better, quicker and more in-depth assistance from me, and we can plan campaigns with better local focus. We can be more present also for our commercial partners. Until now, the main emphasis has been on Estonia and on youth. Now all the knowledge and benefits are available to all three countries and to all ages.
How does your previous career support this new role?
My background is mostly on hospitality sector and sales and trade based. I have worked in tourism, retail and entertainment/recreation, and have managed to accept work from many “landmark” organizations, that carry a little more meaning than simply business – and all this helps me to communicate with the businesses and retailers. Before joining Fairtrade Finland team, I worked for Estonian NGO Mondo, where I was part of the responsible consumption team. We worked closely with Fairtrade Finland, and the next step seemed logical to all parties.
What kind of new openings related to Fairtrade are expected in the Baltic States in the near future?
So far, the main emphasis has been on youth, but now the focus shifts to a wider scope, to legislators, advocacy workers, actual manufacturers, producers and also current buyers. Our official social media and web pages will be set up and have more content and possibilities for inquiries than before. I also create events and implement campaigns together with our partners. Fairtrade Month is one of our biggest events in Estonia, and we intend to broaden it to Latvia and Lithuania as well.
You have an independent position and a broad field of work. What kind of cooperation do you have with the Finnish office?
Indeed, I am situated in Estonia, and my office can be anywhere in the Baltic States… But all the plans, aims and projects for the Baltic States are being created in accordance with Fairtrade Finland, and I work very closely with the customer team, Licensing Manager and communication and marketing team. I am also conspiring, in a good, way, with our Civil Society and Public Procurement specialist, to bring international Fairtrade recognitions (like Fairtrade Schools and Towns and Fairtrade@work) to the Baltic States. There are more than 2000 Fairtrade Towns in the world and countless Fairtrade schools, universities and supportive communities – why should the Baltics be left behind?
What is Fairtrade's role in the Baltic market today?
We are just starting to research and activate the Baltic market more. But already on 2020 there were 800 different Fairtrade marked products sold in Lithuania, 600 in Estonia and 500 in Latvia. In 2016 a survey showed that nearly 20 percent of Estonians know about Fairtrade. I see no reason why the awareness and care level wouldn’t reach the level of Nordic countries, where approximately 85 percent of people recognize the Fairtrade mark. Some trends are worth following, and I know that Estonians, Lithuanians and Latvians can do this.
Our partners have been doing a great job working with schools: 2020 survey amongst Estonian students showed that 64 percent knew the mark and 60 percent actually trusted the system. We are conducting the same survey in all three Baltic countries, and the result should be out in a few months. I do hope to create a survey for the larger public as well.
What are the biggest challenges – and opportunities?
The challenges evolve mostly around awareness, both from consumers and businesses. There are not many organizations speaking about Fairtrade in the Baltic States besides Mondo in Estonia, Litdea in Lithuania and Zaļā brīvība (Green Liberty) in Latvia. So the challenge is to figure out how to reach people, because we happily educate and create opportunities. The challenge within challenge is finances: there simply is not enough money to create large scale media campaigns, adverts or events.
And when it comes to opportunities, Fairtrade items are everyday items, and not competing with local produce. They, however, participate in making local produce more responsible when manufacturers incorporate certified raw materials. Price range for Fairtrade products is not necessarily higher from same quality non-certified items, so it is possible to make more Fairtrade options available on the market and assure they sell.
In collaboration with NGO Mondo, Estwatch just published a survey on Estonian supply chain responsibility, and the results show, that there is great room for development. Retail chains joining the action can really make a difference – for the producers and consumers but also for themselves – to actually and dedicatedly become more sustainable.
For more information and collaboration, please contact:
Fairtrade Account Manager for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
(+372) 56 26 5559
Commercial Manager Fairtrade Finland & the Baltic States
(+358)50 559 5640