A dialogue on Sustainability with the European Union Ambassador to India! His Excellency, Ugo Astuto, European Union Ambassador to India was recently in Goa along with Environment, Energy & Climate Change Counsellor, Ms. Henriette Faergemman and met with the Forca Goa Foundation team. The dialogue revolved around Sustainable Development Goals, Fairtrade and Forca Goa Foundation.
The Ambassador was hosted by the Founder and Non – Executive Chairman of the Forca Goa Foundation and President of FC Goa , Mr. Akshay Tandon along with Miss. Devina Singh from Fairtrade India. Other members of the Foundation team present were Shivangini Tandon, Ishita Godinho and Nathaniel Dcosta. We were also joined by our Global Goals World Cup team and our grassroots coaches.
The visit gave us a chance to present our work towards the Sustainable Development Goals in front of His Excellency. We explained to the ambassador the 3 core pillars of the Foundation – Football, Sustainability and Empowerment. Two years back our decision to source Fairtrade footballs has taken us one step closer to champion SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.
The Fairtrade movement aims at empowering workers by ensuring they have proper working conditions and fair wages. The foundation has sourced 1800 Fairtrade Footballs between 2018 – 2020 from a Fairtrade certified factory in Jalandhar that complies with social, economic and environmental Fairtrade standards. By sourcing Fairtrade footballs, we ensure that our footballs come from a factory where workers are treated fairly. In fact, the Forca Goa Foundation is the first organisation in India to take a pledge to source Fairtrade footballs only.
Speaking on the occasion of the event, H.E. Ugo Astuto said, “Environment, energy, resource efficiency and circular economy are some of the key issues that the EU works on. In this context, the activities being implemented by Fairtrade India through an EU funded project, are commendable. Meeting the young women athletes today reinforces my belief that the problem we face today on climate change, on depletion of resources and on environmental degradation, seeps through to all generations and is truly a global challenge. The commitment of Forca Goa and the football team to sustainable consumption and production sets a good example that every initiative counts and I hope they will continue on this journey with the same enthusiasm that I have witnessed today.”
He commended Forca Goa Foundation for its sustainability initiative for championing 3 SDG’s in the Global Goals World Cup and winning ‘Best Action towards Sustainable Development Goals (to know more about this, do check out our blog on the Global Goals World Cup). He further talked about the importance for all organisations to start developing such initiatives at the base and work from the bottom up. Besides handling the Foundation a certificate for their efforts, he also scored a goal with a Fairtrade football on the field.
Talking about the event, Akshay Tandon said,”We hope to champion the power of football and sports in transforming communities and lives. The EU is known to recognize and promote sustainability through sports and football in a big way. I hope we can learn from them and work together in the near future.”