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.