Tuesday, April 17, 2012, the FFTI office was full by attendance of students of International Relations (IR), Faculty of Social & Political Science, Udayana University – Bali. They have a Class Session on Fair Trade Lunch, a routine activity held by FFTI.
The event began with the introduction of globalization presented by Mr. Idin Fasisaka, IR lecture. Mr. Idin explained that world become borderless or sometime called follow liquidity concept. Three concepts of globalization that emphasized are transnationality, globality and gaseousness.
Globalization occurs mostly in all aspects of life, including economic sector, especially trade. The hot debate is when the practice of free trade raises inequality between rich countries and poor countries. The concern of the economic inequality, emerging fair trade movement, that prioritizes dialogue, tranparency and mutual respect between consumers and producers, and giving priority to the rights of producers in developing countries.
The presentation was continued by explain about fair trade; the definition, principles, and practices at the local until global level, which was presented by Mr. Agung Alit, the Secretary General of FFTI.
Fair Trade should be understood in two aspects, as a movement and as a business model. In realization, combining both (social and business) is not easy and is a challenge for the fair trader. But the commitment to remove the ‘unfairness’ in the trade to be the main motivation and uniting fair traders around the world through an umbrella organization called World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO).
Theoritical explanation from Mr. Idin and practical exposure from Mr. Agung as a fair trade practitioner were able to build the curiosity of the IR students. Many critical questions arised, such as: “how to make fair trade to be a trend that could fight against the capitalist”; “how to maximize the local fair trade products to fight franchise”; “which one of fair trade principles is the most difficult to apply”; “why fair trade products are relatively more expensive “;” how to enter the fair trade efforts in to government policy “;” does fair trade has an impact on China Asean free trade area “; and many more critical questions from the students.
One of lesson learn to the students submitted by Mr. Idin after 2 hours discussion was : “students need to grow a culture of fairness; have a brave to go out from the comfort zone in order to criticize the unfairness that occurs”.
We are in FFTI, was surprised and happy because the students were excited and enjoyed the discussion. The questions that appear we use for a reflection and be an input for us to further disseminate fair trade among a wider audience. Hopefully the cooperation with the academics stakeholder can be continue, so fair trade can be better known among students, faculty, and other university stakeholders, because Fair Trade can be applied in all sectors, including education.