Making supply chains work for small producers

In November, the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, together with Cooperatives Europe, released a joint contribution to the future European Union’s strategy on “Strengthening the Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Development”. This topic is a key issue within the implementation of the European Union’s development policy, ‘Agenda for Change’ and the discussions on the future global sustainable development framework once the United Nations Millennium Development Goals come to an end.

The joint paper highlights which opportunities the European Union (EU) could gain from supporting and partnering with Fair Trade actors and cooperative enterprises. The goal is to empower small producers in supply chains in order to achieve the EU poverty reduction goals, and to foster sustainable supply chains into and within the common EU market.

The document is a direct follow-up to the high-level conference that was organized at the European Parliament last June. It features the main ideas expressed during the event and the different contributions gathered from speakers and civil society organizations. It also gives suggestions on how EU policies can make supply chains work for small producers. Examples include: empowering small producers in the value chain; creating an enabling environment; adapting trade and trade-related policies and driving consumption through demand.

The cooperative and Fair Trade business models are market-based and put people at the very core of their businesses. Both apply a people-centred business model where profit is simply a means to serve people, not an end in itself.

Read the whole joint paper here

The Fair Trade manifesto is ready!

As the campaign for the next European Parliament elections is kicking off with an increased media attention, it is essential for the Fair Trade movement to come up with a policy document summarizing its most important demands. Now the Fair Trade manifesto is ready.

The objective of the Fair Trade manifesto is to create support for Fair Trade and Trade Justice in the future European Parliament and among policy-makers from other key European Union institutions (i.e. the European Commission). It aims to provide the European Fair Trade movement with a common tool during the campaign leading to the elections. The manifesto will also serve as a basis for cooperation with the newly elected (and re-elected) Members of the European Parliament willing to support Fair Trade during their mandate in the legislature of 2014-2019.

The work on the manifesto was led by the Vote4FT coalition but it also involved the Fair Trade Advocacy Office’s Board and other European Fair Trade organisations. The Vote4FT coalition partners will seek the endorsement of the Fair Trade manifesto from the parliamentary candidates. Starting from December, 22 organisations will attempt to reach a maximum number of candidates in no less than 15 countries of the European Union until the elections take place in May 2014.

The Fair Trade manifesto can be downloaded from the FTAO website, where updates on the number of candidate’s signature will be also available. In addition, a series of videos with supportive candidates will be uploaded on the  Vote4FT website from the end of January 2014.

For more information contact Sebastien Leclef at 

The ”Davos of Central and Eastern Europe” discusses Fair Trade beyond 2015

The 23rd edition of the Economic Forum was held in the first week of September in Krynica (Poland), also known as the “Davos of Central and Eastern Europe”.

For the very first time, Fair Trade appeared on the Forum’s official programme. A panel session “Fair Trade in the future UN Sustainable Development Goals Beyond 2015: what’s the role for companies and governments?” was held on 4 September 2013, organised by the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe, in cooperation with the Polish Fair Trade Association and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office.

The panellists were Ulrike Lunacek (Member of the European Parliament from Austria and Vice President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament), Pawel Zalewski (Member of the European Parliament from Poland [EPP] and member of the EP International Trade Committee), Xinquan Tu (Deputy Director of the China Institute for WTO Studies, University of International Business and Economics), Marion Lieser (Executive Director of Oxfam Germany), Giorgio Dal Fiume (President of the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe) and Bernhard Herold (Member of the Board of Directors of Fairtrade International). The panel was moderated by Sergi Corbalán (Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office).

12. Fair Trade panel Economic Forum debate12. photo Fair Trade panel Economic Forum 4 Sept 2013

The discussion, which was organised in the context of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (New York, 23-27 September 2013) on the future Sustainable Development Goals Post-2015, served to exchange views on Fair Trade and on what companies, local authorities and governments can do at their level to promote trade that upholds high sustainable development standards.

The panel also served to present the results of the “Fair Trade beyond 2015” declaration. This campaign, calling on world leaders to support Fair Trade and Trade Justice in the sustainable development framework beyond 2015, is so far supported by more than 150 mayors, 120 local leaders, 250 Civil Society Organisations from 32 countries around the world.

More information:

On the Economic Forum                          

On Fair Trade                                          

On the Fair Trade beyond 2015 declaration

Fairtrade International’s 2012-13 annual report

On 3 September 2013 the Fairtrade International 2012-13 annual report was released.

The report shows that over 1.3 million farmers and workers in 70 countries are part of 1,149 producer organisations in the Fairtrade system. In addition to sales income, these producer groups benefitted from around 80 million euros in Fairtrade Premium money in 2012.

Consumers also showed their growing support for Fairtrade by spending 4.8 billion euros on Fairtrade-certified products in 2012. A Fairtrade-commissioned study in 17 countries confirmed Fairtrade’s position as the most widely-recognized ethical label.

Fairtrade-certified products became available in Kenya and will be available in India later this year, providing consumers in those markets the chance to buy Fairtrade-certified products from producers in the same country. In parallel, the Fairtrade Access Fund gave US$5.65 million in loans to small producer organizations in Latin America to address their most pressing financial needs.

For more figures read the full 2012-13 Fairtrade International Annual Report here.

European Parliament elections 2014: Vote for Fair Trade!

The next European Parliament elections are coming up and the people of the European Union (EU) will be electing their new representatives in May 2014. This is a great opportunity for the Fair Trade movement to approach the candidates and promote Fair Trade and Trade Justice.

The Fair Trade Advocacy Office, together with Fairtrade International, the World Fair Trade Organization – Europe, and other partners– 22 in total – have launched a major advocacy campaign called Vote4FT. Its aim is to create a dialogue between the EU policy-makers, the EU citizens and the Fair Trade movement on the importance of EU policies for the livelihoods of marginalised producers and workers in the South and the relevance of Fair Trade and Fair Trade principles.

The campaign will run for three years. 2013 is mostly dedicated to raise awareness about Fair Trade. Video testimonials of Fair Trade producers are available on the Internet for EU citizens. Fair Trade organisations will also get together to exchange practices and attend capacity-building events in order to improve their political advocacy abilities. One of these events already took place in Brussels.

Next to this, the coalition will prepare a Fair Trade Manifesto. This document will include the major demands of the Fair Trade movement at the European level, and candidates to the new European Parliament will be asked to endorse this Manifesto.

2014 will focus on the advocacy activities before the elections. Representatives of the Fair Trade Movement will meet candidates from several countries. For this reason, the European dimension of the campaign is important: local Fair Trade partners will meet with their national candidates to the European Parliament. Candidates for the European Parliament as well as current Members (MEPs) running for reelection will be approached in Brussels to express their support for Fair Trade on video.

During the last phase of the campaign (second half of 2013 and 2014), after the elections have taken place, the Fair Trade actors will get back to the newly elected MEPs having expressed their support and endorsed the manifesto to ensure their cooperation with the Fair Trade movement on key issues related to Fair Trade and Trade Justice.


  • Annual Reports
    Article Count:
  • FTAO´s Position Papers

    Please find below the position papers of the Fair Trade movement on European and international policies from the last years.

    Article Count:
  • Newsletter

    Find all the previous publications here.

    Article Count:
  • Press releases
    Article Count:
    • Press release 2013
      Article Count:
    • Press release 2012
      Article Count:
    • Press release 2011
      Article Count:
    • Press release 2010
      Article Count:
    • Press release 2009
      Article Count:
    • Press release 2014
      Article Count:
    • Press release 2015
      Article Count:
    • Press release 2008
      Article Count:
    • Press release 2006
      Article Count:
    • :


      The first EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award is officially launched!


      08 December 2017 (Brussels)Yesterday, the European Commission officially launched the first EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award. The Fair Trade movement warmly encourage local authorities to give the necessary visibility to their key contributors to make trade Fair by joining the competition.

      The long-awaited EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award has been officially launched yesterday. This was a commitment that the Commission took in October 2014, when the current EU Trade strategy was launched.

      The purpose of the award is to:

      • Recognize and celebrate cities’ achievements and positive impact in the areas of social, economic and environmental sustainability in international trade. 
      • Emphasize Fair and ethical trade schemes, as well as other non-governmental sustainability schemes, which may bring more sustainable opportunities to small producers in third countries and thus support sustainable and inclusive development.

      The call for applications is now open and EU local authorities can apply until April 2018. The winner is expected to be announced in Brussels in June 2018.

      “The launch of this award has been strongly requested by the Fair Trade movement and the more than 2000 Fair Trade Towns. Therefore, we welcome this initiative which gives the necessary visibility to the contribution of local authorities in promoting sustainable consumption and production models.”

      Sergi Corbalán, FTAO Executive Director

      The Fair Trade movement looks forward to supporting the European Commission and the International Trade Centre, appointed to set-up the award, to make this initiative a real success! The Fair Trade movement will mobilise its network to ensure a high participation of EU local authorities in the award. It will also seize the opportunity to raise awareness on the role of local policy makers in promoting sustainable development through trade.

      You can learn more about the award and how to apply here

      You can read FTAO’s toolkit on localising the SDGs through Fair Trade here

      A pdf version of this press release can be found here.


      The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) speaks out for Fair Trade and Trade Justice with the aim to improve the livelihoods of marginalised producers and workers in the South. The FTAO is a joint initiative of Fairtrade International, the World Fair Trade Organization-Global and the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe.


      Peter Möhringer | | Tel: +32 (0)2 54 31 92 3

      Fair Trade Advocacy Office

      Village Partenaire - bureau 1 | 15 rue Fernand Bernierstraat | 1060 Brussels – Belgium


      Article Count:
    • Press release 2018
      Article Count:


Subscribe to the newsletter.