News and press releases

The clock is ticking: two Months Left to transpose the EU Unfair Trading Practices Directive

On Monday 1 March, The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) along with 13 civil society organisations and trade unions, has published a joint statement on the transposition of the EU Directive on Unfair Trading Practices (UTP) in the Agricultural and Food Supply Chain. Only two months are left before the deadline for EU Member States to transpose these EU rules. The Statement calls for ambitious national laws transposing the Directive in every single EU Member State. read more

New EU Trade Policy, fair enough?

Brussels, 18 February 2021 – Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission has unveiled today the new EU Trade Policy, which builds on three main pillars: openness, sustainability and assertiveness. The Fair Trade movement welcomes the commitment to “promote value chains that are circular, responsible and sustainable” but regrets the lack of concrete proposals to make this happen. read more

Fair Trade European Parliament Breakfast with Executive Vice-president Dombrovskis: Putting fairness and sustainability at the core of new EU trade policy

In June 2020, the European Commission launched a major review of the EU’s trade and investment policy. Following a recent call from Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to include a Fair Trade sub-section in the new EU Trade Strategy, Commission Executive Vice-President and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis was invited to join the European Parliament’s annual Fair Trade Breakfast yesterday (8 December 2020) to further engage in constructive dialogue. read more

Strengthening the Synergies Between Competition Law and Sustainability: Our Submissions to EU Policy Processes

The EU is committed to contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the goals set by the Paris Agreement. Under the European Green Deal, it has explicitly committed to ensure that “[a]ll EU actions and policies should pull together to help the EU achieve a successful and just transition towards a sustainable future.” Competition law cannot remain an exception to this move towards coherence, and the FTAO is glad to have participated in two parallel policy processes through which we except the Commission to strengthen the synergies between competition law and sustainability. read more

Beyond the circular economy: Fostering socially and environmentally responsible businesses – new report

As business leaders strive for sustainability, systemic problems such as poor working conditions, unfair distribution of profits and wasteful consumption patterns will undermine Europe’s quest for a fair and truly circular economy.

An increasing number of businesses market themselves and their products as being sustainable and circular. Yet, whether new business models actually deliver resource savings and sufficiently consider other aspect such as social equity remains an open question.

A new report by Circle Economy, the European Environmental Bureau and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office launches a debate on what constitutes truly sustainable business models.
The report identifies blind spots in the European textile and electronics sectors, helping policymakers and business leaders understand how they can address the manifold challenges of the post COVID-19 economy. read more

Mind Our Business: Amplify the transformative power of sustainable and inclusive business models through EU external action

The European Union’s international partnerships, development cooperation, trade and economic diplomacy strategies all refer to the important role that the private sector, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), plays in achieving sustainability and poverty reduction objectives. Yet something is missing. Size is not the only factor that differentiates one company from another. Currently these policies do not adequately take into account how a business shares its benefits, negotiates prices with suppliers, or includes stakeholder representatives in its decision-making and governance structures. read more

Why purchasing practices must be a part of upcoming due diligence legislation

by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) & Coordinadora Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Pequeños Productores y Trabajadores de Comercio Justo (CLAC)

International trade has the potential to stimulate significant economic development and contribute to poverty reduction. However, trade left unregulated has massive potential for destruction – exacerbating inequalities, causing human rights violations, and environmental destruction. Legislation on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence (HREDD) will be a crucial tool in ensuring that companies address the risks that their production poses to people and the environment. read more

Press release: Build Back Fairer

Civil society alliance calls for the transformation of the economy and trade system for a just and sustainable recovery.

Friday 25 September marks a number of significant milestones: the two-year anniversary of the adoption of the International Fair Trade Charter; the fifth anniversary of adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals; and the Fridays for Future Global Day of Climate Action

As we mark this years’ milestones it is clear that the outlook is bleak. Covid-19, itself a result of humanity’s destruction of nature, has exacerbated existing inequalities and put food sovereignty further at risk. The hardest hit have been the most vulnerable, including small-farmers and workers in the Global South.  read more