The EU Court of Justice establishes that public authorities can use fair trade criteria as criteria to award public supply contracts of products (Netherlands Max Havelaar)

Fair-trade coffee and tea under the procurement directive* Can public authorities procure fair trade products, or are they debarred from specifically referring to the fair trade qualities of those products under the public procurement directive (directive 2004/18/EC)? This is one of the issues underlying the judgment of the Court in Case C-368/10 Commission v. Netherlands. In 2008, the Dutch province of North Holland announced in a tendering procedure that it wished to procure coffee machines and the products necessary to make them function (coffee, tea, sugar, milk, cups). It required that those products to be delivered to bear the Max Havelaar label, a private label that adheres to the rules of the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation. Considering that this tender was contrary to the

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Laurens Ankersmit, The EU Court of Justice establishes that public authorities can use fair trade criteria as criteria to award public supply contracts of products (Netherlands Max Havelaar), 10 May 2012, e-Competitions May 2012, Art. N° 64145

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