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.

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                                    www.forum-ekonomiczne.pl

On Fair Trade                                                    www.fairtrade-advocacy.org/about-fair-trade

On the Fair Trade beyond 2015 declaration         www.fairtrade-advocacy.org/beyond2015

Fair Trade making its way into Eastern African consumers markets

On Tuesday 25 June, Kenya's leading newspaper Daily Nation published an article about the expansion of Fair Trade to Eastern African consumers markets, starting with Kenya.

Its author Liz Jarman, who is also a director of Fairtrade Eastern Africa, points out the constant change of the definition of global trade and business operations. A special focus is set on the way business is conducted at the domestic level where concepts such as social enterprise businesses and ethical production provide the basis for sustainable output models.

Moreover there is also a development on the consumer’s side. Kenyan consumers are also becoming more sensitive to the supportive programmes that guarantee the highest standards of quality connected with environmental and community benefits. That means that they are more open to buying goods and services at a slightly higher price for the simple reason that the extra payment is ultimately channelled to a moral cause — usually for the support of vulnerable communities and for the development of programmes aimed at addressing environmental effects caused by manufacturing practices.

The article puts Fair Trade at the centre of these innovations, and emphasises that Fair Trade represents a strong pathway for enhancing and achieving national, regional, and international social and economic growth. From development programmes crafted by international development partners to national socio-economic blueprints, the Fairtrade label amplifies the relevance of value addition on goods and services through observance of the globally accepted standards.

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.

Farmers have now an equal say in Fairtrade International

(by Fairtrade International)

For the first time farmers from Africa, Asia and South America had an equal say in running the global Fairtrade movement at the Fairtrade International’s annual General Assembly, held in Germany on 12 June 2013.

The new composition of the Board of Fairtrade International reflects producer equality in decision making. It comprises four producer representatives, four market representatives and three independent members. The new constitution also empowers the board to take global decisions on matters of systemwide relevance.

Marike de Peña, vice-chair of Fairtrade International and director of the banana co-operative Banelino in the Dominican Republic, said the “unique” arrangement would help serve the interests of Fairtrade’s more than one million small farmers and their workers. She added: “This is what real empowerment is about.”

Previously growers and producers in the southern hemisphere had three out of 22 votes at Fairtrade International’s annual meeting, with the majority held by national Fairtrade organizations in the consumer countries of the wealthy north.

Under reforms begun five years ago, the constitution of Fairtrade International, the global co-ordinating body for the movement, was changed in January 2013 to give producers groups and consumer countries parity.

Chief Adam Tampuri, chair of Fairtrade Africa and the Gbankuliso Cashew Farmers Association in Ghana, said: “We are convinced that what we have just achieved in Fairtrade International is a very important breakthrough: people in the south are not just beneficiaries but, for the first time, co-owners.

“This is not the end of the story and we still have a long way to go, but this fundamental step is a source of great motivation for us to strengthen and improve Fairtrade in the years to come.”

Molly Harriss Olson, Chair of Fairtrade International, said: “Producers have always been involved centrally in everything that we do. In fact there is no major decision that is taken without their guidance and support.  

“But there is a big difference between having a seat at the negotiating table (or even a few seats) and owning half of the board room.”

Fairtrade General Assembly 2013


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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 | moehringer@fairtrade-advocacy.org | 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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