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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

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