Modernising Public Procurement: Key demands for sustainable development in public procurement

30 June 2011(Brussels) - The Network for Sustainable Development in Public Procurement (EPSU, GMB, UNISON, EMF, EFFAT, EFBWW, SOLIDAR, EFTA, Fairtrade International, WFTO-Europe, FERN, EMCEF, Ver.di, TUC, ENSIE, UNI Europa, Setem, and NETWORKWEAR) on the occasion of the European Commission’s Conference “modernising public procurement”1 on 30 June 2011 reiterates their ‘five key demands’ for the revision of the procurement Directives.

Read more: Modernising Public Procurement: Key demands for sustainable development in public procurement

EU leaders congratulate 1,000 Fair Trade Towns while the European Commission re-thinks EU policies

4 June 2011 (Brussels) - European Union leaders have spoken out for Fair Trade and congratulated the Fair Trade Towns movement as it reaches its 1000th Fair Trade Town. On Saturday 4 June 2011 Spain's capital city Madrid joins the UK Prime Minister David Cameron's constituency Witney, amongst others, in reaching the status of the 1000th Fair Trade Town world wide, most of them in the EU. On this festive occasion the Fair Trade movement calls on the European Commission to reflect the EU citizens´ views in its upcoming legislative and policy proposals.

Read more: EU leaders congratulate 1,000 Fair Trade Towns while the European Commission re-thinks EU policies

The Local Goes Global in the Fair Trade Beyond 2015 Campaign

10 November 2012 (Poznan) - The Mayor of Poznan launched today the Fair Trade Beyond 2015 Campaign, at the 6th International Fair Trade Towns Conference held in Poland. The Campaign is expected to achieve global results, uniting local leaders, civil society and the private sector in a call for just and ethical trade rules and practices to be incorporated in the future development framework that will take on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, when they expire in 2015.

There is an ongoing global debate on what the future development framework beyond 2015 should look like. As a part of the discussions, the Fair Trade movement places two essential elements on the development agenda: trade and partnerships.

Read more: The Local Goes Global in the Fair Trade Beyond 2015 Campaign

New EC "Buying Social" guide: a giant step for the EC, a small step for sustainable procurement

28 January 2011 (Brussels) - The European Commission has launched today the long-awaited “Buying social: a guide to take account of social considerations in public procurement”. A network of trade unions, social and sustainable development organisations considers this guide fails to reflect the true potential of public procurement as an instrument in support of social and sustainable development objectives. Much more is needed if the EU and Member States are to live up to the EU Treaty commitments and international obligations in this field.

Read more: New EC "Buying Social" guide: a giant step for the EC, a small step for sustainable procurement

The European Union should walk the road from Rio + 20 hand in hand with marginalised producers and workers

25 June 2012 (Brussels) The Rio+20 Summit concluded on 22 June 2012 with disappointing results. The European Union must now take leadership in the follow-up actions agreed at the Summit, namely the development of Sustainable Development Goals, which must be people-centered. Achieving such goals will require a wide set of EU policy and market-led measures, including support to the uptake of Fair Trade.

The outcomes document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20 Summit) has been criticised by civil society and policy-makers alike for its lack of ambition and of action-oriented decisions. Even the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated “the efforts have not lived up the measure of the challenge” and urged world leaders to take action.

Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office stated “The Fair Trade movement calls on the European Union to take up the challenge by the United Nations Secretary General and provide the necessary leadership on the road from the Rio +20 towards the adoption of people-centered Sustainable Development Goals”.

Despite the shortcomings of the Summit’s outcomes document, the Fair Trade movement welcomes the recognition to the contribution to sustainable development played by small-scale farmers and its emphasis on the need to enhance employment and income opportunities for all, especially for women and men living in poverty and to ensure that workers have access to education, skills, healthcare, social security, and fundamental rights at work.

The European Union has already recognised that Fair Trade is a valuable market-driven tool to foster sustainable and inclusive growth in developing countries. “The Fair Trade movement looks forward to working with the European Union to increase the number of producers that are able to trade under Fair Trade terms and to create a shift in the market place towards more sustainable consumption, both in the EU and in the Global South”, concluded Sergi Corbalán.

Contact: Sergi Corbalán - Executive Director - Fair Trade Advocacy Office. Rue Fernand Bernierstraat 15 – 1060 Brussels – Belgium. Tel: +32 (0) 4 73 540 741. Email:

The press release can be downloaded as PDF here. 


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      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


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