I declared Seoul Metropolitan Government a “Fair Trade City” in May last year.
Since then, we have laid the institutional foundation by enacting the Fair Trade Law in November last year and putting together a Fair Trade Commission.
The Citizens Hall at the basement of Seoul City Hall dedicated a spot for Global Village, a shop that sells fair trade goods. We hope it promotes fair trade among our residents.
This year, we prepared several interesting events such as Fair Trade Week events and seminars. We are planning to open more fair trade shops and stimulating its supporting community to spread awareness regarding underpaid laborers working in substandard conditions. We are hoping this starts to spread a culture of morally conscious consumerism.
Autonomous district offices, universities, and religious groups will join in the effort. Soon, Seoul will become a city of high moral standards, lending a helping hand to deprived countries and poverty-stricken people.
Like any other city-related matter, good governance is essential for the movement’s success.
Korea has already seen a handful of fair trade organizations that are still actively involved to this day.
Some of those organizations are Beautiful Coffee, the organization I founded before I became mayor, Peace Coffee run by YMCA, Gru, Fair Trade Korea, and Fair Trade Group Association.
The Fair Trade Commission headed by Nam Bu Won, who is also the chairman of the YMCA secretariat, will spearhead this movement by reviewing and providing consulting on related policies.
Seoul Metropolitan Government is about to be reborn as a respectable, morally responsible city. I hope our residents take part in this exciting change.