Glenis said: “These new laws – for fairer public procurement – will give a renewed boost to local authorities to choose Fair Trade.
“There are already several Fair Trade towns and local authorities in the East Midlands.
“With this week’s positive step, I hope to see even more Fair Trade products in the Region, going even further towards tackling poverty.”
In the past, complex rules and legal challenges have hampered some public authorities from opting for a Fair Trade purchasing policy in their contracts. In the Netherlands, for example, a coffee company challenged one local authority in the courts because they had a Fair Trade tea and coffee policy.
The new rules will apply right across Europe and allow a wider range of social and environmental considerations to be taken into account, meaning public authorities can opt for Fair Trade products.
Compliance with environmental, social and labour obligations are now enshrined in the principles of procurement law, meaning potential suppliers can be excluded if they fail to comply with sustainability standards or are found to be treating workers unfairly.