Fair Transport Initiative Launched
Nautilus International and the Swedish maritime union SEKO have joined forces in a pioneering crew welfare initiative: Fair Transport.
The proposed scheme would see some of the key welfare principles of the Fair Trade movement applied to shipping – as well as underpinning the employment of European seafarers.
As part of the scheme, a new Fair Transport Mark would be created, along the lines of the familiar Fairtrade Mark. This would be displayed by quality European operators as a symbol of their commitment to the highest safety and environmental standards, and decent treatment of their crews.
"For many years now, Nautilus and SEKO Seafarers’ Branch have been pointing out that 'fair trade' is not always fair for everyone in the supply chain," said Nautilus General Secretary, Mark Dickinson.
"We asked the Fairtrade Foundation to include a clause in its licensing agreement so that any product displaying the Fairtrade Mark would have to be transported on a vessel meeting internationally-agreed crew welfare standards. The Foundation wasn’t interested, so we are now asking stakeholders to join with us and examine the feasibility of developing our own scheme. This would be specifically tailored to our industry and help the public distinguish between the good and bad guys of the shipping world."
Nautilus and SEKO are now gathering feedback about the idea, and have invited stakeholders from throughout the European maritime industry to join with them and help shape the eventual form the scheme will take.
The proposed Fair Transport scheme is outlined in the Nautilus/SEKO report Fair Transport: A proposal for raising standards, available here