Fair Trade in Greece

Since in June Athens will host the next Biennial Conference of WFTO-Europe, today our train will bring us to Greece to get to know better our member and the story of the movement in this country.

In comparison to other European countries Fair Trade in Greece is still at the beginning of its journey. In 2004 a small group of volunteers founded Fair Trade Hellas with the co-operation of the Italian Fair Trade organization, CTM Altromercato and in March 2006 the first Fair Trade store opened in association with the Italian cooperative. At exactly the same time, a group of activists of the alternative globalization movement launched an alternative and solidarity trade shop in Exarchia, Athens. Their cooperative, o Sporos, (meaning “the Seed” in Greek) was inspired by peasants’ movements in Latin America (including the Zapatista movement and their coffee cooperatives) and proved to be a pioneer of the social and solidarity economy movement in Greece.

Since then, Greece has experienced a severe economic crisis, but also a surge of cooperativism and other civil society socio-economic initiatives. Newborn producers’ coops in the countryside and consumer coops and cooperative groceries in the main cities have been exploring direct, equitable and sustainable food chains, that share many aspects of the Fair Trade vision.

World Fair Trade Organization counts at the moment only one Provisional Member from Greece, Syn Allois.

Our Provisional Member

Syn Allois means “together with others” in Greek as working collectively is the main motto of this Solidarity Economy Cooperative founded in Athens in 2011.

They mostly trade food: coffee from Mexico, sugar and cocoa from other cooperatives in the Global South in cooperation with Libero Mondo, Italian Fair Trade Organization and El Puente, a German Fair Trade Organization.

For the distribution of their products, they rely on an alternative distribution network throughout Greece: solidarity economy initiatives, but also small grocery stores and coffee shops.  Besides all of this they also try to influence their social surrounding through many awareness-raising activities. Their location in Athens functions in fact not only as a shop where they sell Fair Trade and products of local collective projects and small farmers and manufacturers, but also as event-hosting space where they try to raise consumers’ awareness about the Fair Trade movement.

We can’t wait to participate in the next Biennial Conference in Athens and get to know even better our Greek member!

Find out more about Syn Allois on their webpage.