After London won the 2012 Olympics, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) made a commitment never-before made by an Olympic committee: the London games would use Fair Trade certified products in catering whenever possible. Now that the time has come to award catering contracts, a group of Londoners from Fairtrade London are holding them to that promise. Will the 2012 Olympics be the first ever Fair Trade games? Fair Trade activists in the U.K. have secured verbal commitments from LOCOG that all tea, coffee, sugar, bananas and chocolate snacks used in official Olympic catering will be sourced from Fair Trade certified sources. Those are generally considered to the most widely-available Fair Trade products, and in the case of the cocoa and sugar industries, areas where Fair Trade is most needed to prevent human trafficking. Any Fair Trade commitment from such as massive food purchaser (think of all those athletes' appetites) is a huge victory, but Fairtrade London thinks LOCOG can do more.
So they've launched a campaign to ensure LOGOC formalizes their commitment to Fair Trade in the catering contracts they'll be issuing in the coming weeks. But they're not stopping there. They're also asking LOCOG to ensure sugar used in baked goods, not just for coffee and tea, is Fair Trade; expand their list of Fair Trade products to include other products like rice, soap, and alcohol, and promote their use of Fair Trade certified products, as well as other benchmarks. You can read the whole list here.
A truly Fair Trade 2012 Olympics would not only bump up demand for Fair Trade certified products around the world, it would shine a spotlight on how Fair Trade can reduce child, forced, and slave labor around the world. A Fair Trade Olympics would also help encourage companies like Cadbury, who have been leaders in Fair Trade cocoa sourcing and are the exclusive confectionery provider of the 2012 games, maintain and even increase their Fair Trade commitment. And of course, if LOGOC actually promotes their Fair Trade sourcing, it could introduce new consumers to Fair Trade as a means to reduce labor exploitation around the world.
You can support Fairtrade London by signing their petition here. If you're not from the U.K., just add your country into the "Borough" line. After all, the eyes of the world will be on London in 2012, so LOCOG should know the world is watching now. And we're looking out for the first ever Fair Trade Olympics.