The FTAO advocacy in practice

How we work?

The office carries out advocacy in a number of ways. Here are a few examples, which can also be found in more detail throughout the website: 

● Follow policy developments on a number of issues that could affect Fair Trade and Trade Justice
● Liaise with European Commission officials, Members of the European Parliament, other EU Institution officials and Global South representations in Brussels 
● Present the Fair Trade movement and its positions on different policy areas to International Organisations, the European Union institutions, and civil society
● Write position papers, briefing documents, press releases, research, and newsletters

Why the European Union matters for Fair Trade?

The European Union (EU) is perceived as being technocratic and far-away from citizens. However, the EU Institutions and EU policy and legal competences have a great potential to contribute to the achievement of the Fair Trade movement vision. The EU has exclusive competence in the EU for Trade policy and important powers in key policy areas such as Development and Internal Market. The EU is also at the origin of 70% of legislation in the 27 EU Member States, such as Public Procurement rules. It is the largest Fair Trade market (around 60 to 70% of the world´s Fair Trade market) and largest provider of Overseas Development Assistance worldwide. In its bilateral and multilateral relations, it plays a leading role in setting global policies that have an impact on International Trade. 

Espresso with Anna Maria

Sergi Corbalán, the Executive Director of Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) was invited to meet and have an “espresso” Fair Trade coffee with Anna Maria Darmanin, the Vice President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) part of the “espresso with Anna Maria” video interview series. The FTAO was the first civil society actor (not a member of the EESC) to have been invited to participate in this series.

Sergi Corbalán explained that Fair Trade is acknowledged as an engine of sustainable development but the FTAO believes that European Union policies should mainstream Fair Trade principles across EU policies. He welcomed that the EESC has repeatedly supported the Fair Trade principles in several policy papers but also does so practically - all coffee, juice, bananas and chocolate served in the cafeterias are Fair Trade products. This is an important acknowledgement of how public authorities can make a difference for small producers with their own procurement policies.




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