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. 

No more business as usual: activists set Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance Launch, 26-27 June, Brussels out alternative trade agenda

22 June 2012 (Brussels) - Fuelled by short-term interest and over-inflated financial markets, the current neo-liberal trade model is generating increasing inequality across Europe and the developing world. As outrage builds about the parlous state of our economies, a critical mass of European activists are pushing for a radical alternative to the EU trade agenda.

Read more: No more business as usual: activists set Alternative Trade Mandate Alliance Launch, 26-27 June, Brussels out alternative trade agenda

New report offers ways forward for Europe in tackling supply chain abuse

25 April 2012 - A new report has identified how the European Union can take steps to ensure fair play in the grocery market. The report, which was commissioned by international and European organisations concerned with the how the food sector currently impacts upon on farmers, workers and consumers, looks at how EU member states tackle unfair commercial practices in dealings between retailers and suppliers.

Of 15 member states reviewed, 10 have already taken steps to inhibit unfair and imbalanced commercial relationships using a combination of both soft and hard legislative measures. Five other Member states are currently in the process of implementing measures to address the same problem. Two member states have already had to ratchet up their policy solutions, because their initial solutions developed were too soft.

Read more: New report offers ways forward for Europe in tackling supply chain abuse

European Court confirms possibility to demand Fair Trade criteria in public procurement

10 May 2012 (Brussels) - Two days before World Fair Trade Day, the Court of Justice of the European Union provides much-needed legal clarification by confirming that Fair Trade criteria can be included in public procurement. This confirms the practice across the European Union by contracting authorities and cannot be ignored in the current revision of the EU Public Procurement Directive.

Read more: European Court confirms possibility to demand Fair Trade criteria in public procurement

Fairtrade Access Fund To Provide Long-Term Loans To Smallholder Farmers

24 April 2012 (Brussels, Bonn Washington D.C., Seattle) - Incofin Investment Management, Fairtrade International and Grameen Foundation announced they are establishing the first fund to focus on the unmet demand of smallholder farmers for longterm loans. Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) joins as the Fund's first anchor private investor with a $1.3m (€1m) commitment. The Fund will offer investors both financial and demonstrable social results.

The full press release can be found 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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