What are your fair chances at work?

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Gender equity is a crucial element in the 10 Principles of Fair Trade. The World Fair Trade Organistion (WFTO) and Oxfam MdM want to reiterate their commitment to that declaration by supporting women’s rights during that special day. Thus, the organisations created a campaign entitled “What are your fair chances at work?” in order to raise awareness on gender equality at workplaces and invited their network to share it.
As Fair Trade is crucial to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, WFTO and Oxfam MdM take steps to empower women, to fight for their rights and their equal access to economic resources and to promote women as key agents for change and drivers of sustainable development.

World Fair Trade Day 2017: the largest Fair Trade celebration

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On 13 May, the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) invited participants to create human chains during this World Fair Trade Day and to explain how they are Agents for Change in their day-to-day life. During the celebrations, several videos were shot and a video of Agents for Change around the globe is available.
More than 2 million people joined the 4000 Fair Trade celebrations across the world, making it the most important Fair Trade event of the year. 13 universities, 250 communities organised breakfasts with Fair Trade products and enjoyed Fair Trade cakes (a Belgian minister even set the example).
Dario Soto Abril, Global CEO of Fairtrade International, welcomed this popularity: “It’s fantastic to see so many supporters, producers, and politicians coming together around the world to celebrate the successes of Fairtrade, and to encourage more people to join us”.
The FTAO wants to thank every participant and hopes that 2018 will see even more people joining the celebrations!

European Parliament’s report on textile supply chains puts pressure on Commission to act

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On Thursday 27 April, during the Fashion Revolution Week and in remembrance of the deadly 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, a large majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of the resolution on the garment sector, led by MEP Lola Sanchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL).
The Fair Trade movement welcomes this report emphatically. Besides the important call for binding due diligence (that could create a precedence for other sectors), the report calls on the European Commission (EC) to promote transparency, ILO core conventions such as union rights and to follow OECD guidelines in implementing due diligence obligations. It features also recognition of the full supply chain including cotton and the informal sector, while calling for support in different EU tools for fairer trade, for tariff preferences for Fair Trade products, and the unlocking of the power of public procurement.
The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO), signatory of the Clean Clothes Campaign open letter to the EC urging for more transparency in the textile supply chain, welcomes the adoption of the report by the European Parliament as the first step toward a fair global value chain in the textile industry.

New duty of vigilance law in France sets example for Europe

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Under this new law, the largest French companies will have to assess and prevent their adverse human rights and environmental impacts. This includes impacts linked to their own activities and those of their subsidiaries, as well as activities of suppliers and subcontractors, with whom they have an established commercial relationship.
The Constitutional Court gave the green light to the law in March after several senators raised the question of its unconstitutionality. The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) had joined others in the Fair Trade movement in signing a statement in support of the law. Find it here. The decision of the Court to keep the majority of the text and thus protecting the environment and human rights in international trade, is welcomed by the Fair Trade movement.
The FTAO calls for similar legislation to be adopted in European countries to make businesses (parent companies and suppliers) more accountable. For more details on the French duty of vigilance law, please check this FAQ by the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ).

European Consensus on Development: recognition of fair and ethical trade as an important asset


On 17 May 2017 the European Union adopted the new Consensus on Development. The document is a new common vision for development policy for the EU and its Member States. It provides the framework for a common approach to development policy that will be applied by the EU Institutions and the Member States and will guide their action in their cooperation with all partner countries, responding to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
The Fair Trade movement welcomes this new consensus, particularly the recognition that “promoting fair, transparent and ethical trade, including with small producers in developing countries, can make a strong contribution to implementation of the 2030 Agenda”. The Fair Trade movement is looking forward to working with the EU on its commitment that the EU’s “[d]evelopment cooperation will help to reinforce the inclusion and implementation of trade and sustainable development chapters in trade agreements, […] and support for fair and ethical trade”.

Furthermore, together with our partners in the cooperative movement, we welcome the EU’s commitment “to promote private sector initiatives and social enterprises, cooperatives, and women and youth entrepreneurs, to boost the provision of local services as well as inclusive and green business models”, acknowledging the democratic and inclusive nature of cooperatives.


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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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