Women & Trade Fair Trade and the EU




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Further reading

Private sector in development

FTAO Press-releases:

Making supply chains work for small producers  (November 2013)

Cooperatives and Fair Trade promote people-centred businesses together (June 2013)

The Local Goes Global in the Fair Trade Beyond 2015 Campaign (November 2012)

FTAO Position Papers:

Joint position paper FTAO and Cooperatives, Advocating for people-centred business model (September 2011)

FTAO Newsletter Articles:

Stand by Sugar Cane Farmers Failed by European Union  (March 2015)

Citizens’ Cane: a successful path to economic independence (June 2014)

Why cheap bananas threaten farmers’ futures and what the EU can do about it (March 2014)

Investing in Small Farmers - a Bet Against Hunger (January 2013)

Cooperatives and Fair Trade:  A Common People-Centred Private Sector in/for Development (October 2012)

European consumer cooperatives and Fair Trade: an effective poverty fighting alliance (April 2012)

Winds of change in the EU development and CSR policies: is the wind blowing in the right direction for small-scale producers? (January 2012)

Interesting Documents and Articles: 

Co-operatives and Fair Trade: Shared principles and a common people-centred business model

Discussion Paper: Common or Conflicting Interests? 

Cooperatives and Fair Trade: A Common People-Centred Private Sector in/for Development (page 14)


Post 2015 development Framework

FTAO Press Releases: 

The European Union should walk the road from Rio + 20 hand in hand with marginalised producers and workers (June 2012)

FTAO Position Papers:

Post-2015 Development Agenda Fair Trade Movement’s position (April 2013)

Fair Trade Advocacy Office's Submission to the the Local Authorities in Development Issue Paper Consultation (November 2012)

FTAO Submission to the European Commission on Post-2015 Consultations (September 2012)

FTAO Newsletter's Articles: 

Beyond 2015: How to go From Thought to Practice (January 2013)

Building the Post-2015 Agenda Together (October 2012)

The European Union should walk the road from Rio + 20 hand in hand with marginalised producers and workers (June 2012)

Building the Post-2015 Agenda Together (October 2012)

Official EU Documents:

European Commission's Communication 'Decent Life for All'


Aid for Trade

FTAO Press Releases:

Aid for Trade: Is the EU helping small producers to trade their way out of poverty? (September 2009)

FTAO Positions Papers:

Aid for Trade: another missed opportunity to make trade work for development? (December 2007).

FTAO Reviews: 

Aid for Trade: is the EU helping small producers to trade their way out of poverty? A review by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office and ICCO. April 2009 download.

FTAO Presentations:

Aid for Trade. A Global Review. WTO Headquarters (November 2007).
The Fair Trade Advocacy Office made a presentation during the technical programme on monitoring and evaluation. The title of the panel was Improving the qualitative measurement of Aid for Trade. The panelists among others included representatives from the World Bank, OECD, Center for Global development and FTAO:
Presentation from the FTAO and Programme of event "What Added Value to seek from an EU Strategy on aid for trade?". Expert roundtable at the European Parliament (5 June 2007).

FTAO made a presentation with among others David Martin, Member European Parliament, Dr. Evita Schmeig, Representative from the European Council German Presidency and Ambassador Gunesse, Mauritius.
Presentation from the FTAO.

The Fair Trade Advocacy Office was interviewed during a briefing session on Aid for Trade hosted by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA)Interview with Policy Officer Hilary Jeune.

FTAO Newsletter's Articles:

Aid fir Trade: What Are the Prospects for Poverty Reduction? (January 2013)

December 2009

December 2007

July 2007

March 2007

Official EU Documents:

Council of the European Union (2007), Adoption of an EU Strategy on Aid for Trade: Enhancing EU support for trade-related needs in developing countries, doc. 13070/07, Brussels.

European Commission (2007), Towards an EU Aid for Trade strategy – the Commission’s contribution, doc. COM (2007)163, Brussels.

European Parliament (2007), Resolution on Aid for Trade, doc. P6_TA(2007)0203, Brussels


Policy Coherence for development

FTAO Press Releases:

European Commission’s “modern” proposal on trade and development is the same old story (January 2012)

European Parliament hosts a Fair Trade Breakfast (October 2011)

European Union Member States recognise Fair Trade as a priority area for Policy Coherence for Development (November 2009)

FTAO Position Papers:

FTAO briefing note to the Members of the European Parliament on the new EU Trade and Development Strategy (February 2011)

FTAO Newsletter's Articles:

The Impact of Fair Trade on Poverty Reduction Trough Rural Development (January 2012)

Fair Trade Towns Growing in the South (October 2012)

Malawi's first Fair Trade breakfast – an important meal for a good start (June 2012)

South Africans want ethical labels on their food products! (June 2012)

New EU Trade and Development Policy: FTAO believes more actors should be considered (October 2011)

Trade and Development, a perfect topic of discussion for a Fair Trade Breakfast at the European Parliament (October 2011)

European Commission Development Policy: Fair Trade movement's submission  (January 2011)

Making supply chains work for small producers

jointpaper coverTogether with Cooperatives Europe the Fair Trade Advocacy Office released a joint contribution to the future EU 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 EU 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 EU could gain from supporting and partnering with Fair Trade actors and cooperative enterprises to empower small producers in supply chains in order to achieve the EU poverty reduction and sustainable supply chains to satisfy also the EU market demand.

The documents give some suggestions on how EU policies can make supply chains work for small producers. These suggestions are: 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

What are FTAO´s views?

Private Sector for/in Development

Fair Trade Organizations have longstanding experience as global development actors focusing on economic as well as social development around the world.

Joint position paper FTAO and Cooperatives, Advocating for people-centred business model, September 2011.

Co-operatives and Fair Trade: Shared principles and a common people-centred business model

Background Paper of Concord: Private Sector Special Event 10 December 2012


Post 2015 Development Framework

The Fair Trade movement has published a position paper that lays out the Fair Trade Movement's fundamental conviction that the primary purpose of any future framework should be to create a just and sustainable world in which every human being can realise their rights and live free from poverty. Fully in support of the ‘Beyond 2015 Campaign’, European Task Forces’ visionBuilding on the understanding that the existing system is the cause of the plethora of problems that are seen today, the Fair Trade Movement is putting forward the following core demands to be included into the new framework:

  • Fairness must be recognised as an overall value that has to be implemented across the board - with a specific focus on and prioritisation of those who have until now been mostly excluded.
  • Trade rules and practices must be reformed to allow trade to be a tool of empowerment and an engine for development. Supply chains must be transparent and respect human rights as well as labour and environmental laws, effectively banning e.g. the worst forms of child labour.
  • Responsibility and accountability have to be taken up by every actor. For this purpose the new framework must support multistakeholder partnerships from the local to the global level.
  • Fair Trade must be recognised as a best practice of a successful partnership for sustainable development. As atrading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect Fair Trade seeks together with many stakeholders around the world and at different stages along a supply chain, greater equity in international trade. 

The Fair Trade Beyond 2015 Campaign aims to engage town leaders and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to call on world leaders for a fairer post 2015 framework.

FTAO Position Paper: Post-2015 Development Agenda Fair Trade Movement’s position

Aid for Trade

Aid for Trade needs to support growth that is pro-poor

To help reduce poverty, growth must be pro-poor. This means growth must benefit the poorest sections of society proportionally more than it benefits the better off. Aid for Trade should focus on developing local, national, and regional markets, first, rather than further enhancing export-oriented growth.

Supporting small producers is key

Small producers are an important part of local communities and can play a key role to significantly reduce poverty while contributing to sustainable development. Small producers experience numerous supply side constraints and there are many pro-poor policy measures and interventions that can help them overcome these difficulties. These range from support to developing and strengthening producer organisations, access to pre-financing and micro-financing, access to information to monitor changes in processing and consumer demands, to access to cost effective transport and improved technology.

A role of small producers in policy making is essential

Small producers need to be included in the bottom-up design of policies, projects and programmes to make sure that these are effective and pro-poor, meaning that they benefit the poorest proportionally more than they benefit the better off.

There is a lack of consistent focus on small producers by the European Commission (EC) and key European Union Member States

EC and EU Member States policy and communication documents on Aid for Trade recognise the importance of growth being pro-poor and of supporting small producers. Still, there is not always a consistent implementation of the focus on small producers across policies and projects. This is shown in the publication through an analysis of the past allocation of Aid for Trade funding, where it shows that only some few, small and sporadic commitments and projects are specifically targeted at small producers.


Policy Coherence for Development 

Read more here.



  • Development Policy
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  • EU Policies on Fair Trade

    EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award & “Upscaling Fair Trade: from local to EU level” conference (27 & 28 June 2018, Brussels)

    The EC has launched the first ever EU Cities for Fair and Ethical Trade Award!
    Please click the following link to download the communication material on the award in your language: www.trade-city-award.eu/brochures-and-information.html
    Please share the information with local authority contacts. Extended deadline to apply: 20 April 2018
    SAVE THE DATE: 27-28 June 2018, Brussels

    Back to back to the Award ceremony (27 June 2018, Brussels) save the date for the “
    Upscaling Fair Trade: from local to EU level” that will take place after the Award on 27 and 28 June in Brussels. The purpose of the conference is to exchange good practices on how local, regional and national authorities are supporting the uptake of Fair Trade practices by local authorities, take stock of what the EU has done so far and discuss what else could the EU do in this area in the next EU term (2019-2024).
    Watch this space as the draft programme of the conference will be uploaded on this website page.
    Questions? Contact Alice Sinigaglia (sinigaglia@fairtrade-advocacy.org)


    New EU organic rules in 2020 will not make it easier for non-EU farmers

    On 28 June, the European Commission, European Parliament, and Council of Ministers reached a political agreement on the new EU organic farming rules, after more than three years of negotiations. The new rules will likely be officially adopted and published in the last quarter of 2017, with an expected implementation date of 2020.
    You can find the EC press release here and the press statement by the Organic Farming Federation (IFOAM-EU) here.
    The new rules imply a departure from accepting products from non-EU countries with “equivalent” legislation to a stricter system that will depend on bilateral agreements with origin countries.
    The new rules are not expected to be in force until 2020, so the different actors in the chain have time to prepare. For non-EU farmers, it is key to be informed early of the modalities of implementation, in particular to give sufficient time, clarify, and transparent information to non-EU farmers. This will be the main FTAO message to IFOAM and the EU institutions as we prepare for the new EU rules.

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  • Ethical Trade
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  • Overview
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  • Public Procurement
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  • Sustainable Consumption and Production
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  • Women & Trade
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