News and press releases

NEW REPORT: Abusive Trading Practices In Fashion Supply Chains in Europe

Brussels, 18th April – We release today a new report based on field research undertaken by Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) Europe that demonstrates the existence of unfair trading practices in the European apparel industry.

Based on interviews with suppliers, experts and trade union representatives in six EU member states – Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy and Germany – the report Fast Fashion Purchasing Practices in the EU. Unfair business relations between fashion brands and supplierspaints a clear picture of the volatile, risky and unbalanced trade relations between brands and manufacturers.

The research shows a general trend of lowering prices, shortening lead times, increasing order changes, lengthening payment terms, and increasing shares of “hidden” costs, such as the production of initial samples, being shifted to manufacturers. This leaves suppliers in financial trouble, unable to make investments and pay wages.

The report focuses on two major clusters of apparel production in Europe: Italy and Eastern Europe. Brands sourcing from the surveyed manufacturers include ASOS, Metro, MS Mode, Moncler, and the Otto Group. Luxury brands were also included but are not named as requested by research participants.

Urgent solutions are needed to eliminate unfair trading practices from garment supply chains, and the “Fast Fashion Purchasing Practices in the EU” report contains a set of recommendations to that effect.

The Fair Trade Advocacy Office and Clean Clothes Campaign Europe are calling for:

  1. The payment of orders within 60 days
  2. Prices that cover production costs and guarantee living wages for workers
  3. Compensation for changes of orders
  4. A clear definition of the terms of risk and ownership of goods

Recommendations also include a call for the European Union to adopt a directive that bans unfair trading practices in the garment sector such as late payments and prices below production costs. Such UTP Directive should also ensure effective enforcement and provide detailed guidance on how brands and retailers can ensure and uphold freedom of association, collective bargaining, and living wages throughout their supply chains.

For any inquiries, please contact May Hylander at

Read the full press release here.
Read the full report here.

International School Meals Day: A ‘Whole School Food Approach’ is needed! 

Brussels, March 9th 2023 – Every year, many European organisations and institutions take the International School Meals Day as an occasion to raise awareness on the importance of providing healthy and sustainably produced meals to children. With the cost of living crisis impacting access and affordability of food, and with one in three kids in Europe being obese or overweight, this year’s theme “Our changing food – methods, menus, and meals” of the awareness day, which takes place on the 9th of March, highlights the need to pay attention to what is served in schools. 

Besides changing the recipes and ingredients of dishes served in schools, there are many related changes and tasks schools can commit to, to ensure that children have access to sustainably sourced food and develop healthy eating habits. 

Fair Trade Towns and Fair Trade schools are participating in the EU-funded project SchoolFood4Change to spread a new food culture from the plates in school canteens to the plates of everyone else, by following a ‘Whole School Food Approach’ (WSFA). The Fair Trade Advocacy Office supports these Fair Trade towns, schools and involved actors which are testing new ways of transforming food and school meal times. In total, SchoolFood4Change collaborates with more than 3,000 schools, supported by 43 organisations across 12 countries, creating a European support network with the opportunity to inspire each other, share good practices, advice and learning experiences. In times of increasing food prices and living costs, shortages of various raw materials and the climate crisis, the provision of school food, which is good for our health and the planet, and adequate education on related topics, such as the (local) food culture and cultivation, become more relevant, which is why many schools are welcoming the opportunity to participate in the project.

After kicking-off the work with participating schools, they now face the task of putting into practice the ‘Whole School Food Approach’ – a task that requires teamwork and involvement from school staff, school chefs and other staff, schoolchildren and other stakeholders, such as local government councillors and technicians, who often administer the school cafeterias. To provide schools and local/ regional authorities with the best possible support, SchoolFood4Change experts have developed guidelines and concepts to accompany schools’ change processes. The goal is to enable schools to offer and promote healthy and sustainably sourced food; and to empower pupils in making good food choices.

The ‘Whole School Food Approach’ is based on the fact that young children do not automatically prefer unhealthy food. In fact, teaching children about nutrition in school is associated with stronger implicit attitudes that healthy food is tasty. It’s a matter of creating the environment, in which children and youngsters prefer to eat healthy and sustainably sourced food.

The revision of existing public food procurement processes, i.e. the purchasing of food and canteen services by public authorities that administer these public canteens, constitutes an important step in the chain of providing healthy and sustainable meals in schools. Sustainable public food procurement is seen as a strong lever for transforming our current food system to a more sustainable one. 

When it comes to food consumption, eating behaviour and nutrition knowledge, schools can be catalysts for systemic and multi-actor change. As local and regional governments often have the task of administering school cafeterias, they need to be provided with adequate support and guidelines to enable them to provide healthy and sustainably sourced school meals to all children.

For further information and enquiries:   

Paola Plaku,





The EU-funded project SchoolFood4Change was launched in January 2022, together with [name organisations relevant for national/ local context] and [X] other partners spread across Europe. SchoolFood4Change aims at engaging schools as catalysts for a transformation towards a sustainable food system. Therefore, the 43 organisations from 12 European countries, coordinated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, bring all relevant school food actors to one table: students, parents and teachers, farmers, chefs and canteen staff, sustainable food procurement experts, dietitians, and local enterprises. The heart of the project is a three-fold approach that includes sustainable food procurement, the implementation of planetary health diets and the holistic “Whole School Food Approach”. In the first year, the project teams have engaged schools and laid the foundations for a shift towards more sustainable food, by introducing the ‘Whole School Food Approach’ to participating schools.
SchoolFood4Change is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. It started in January 2022 and will run for four years. Findings will be replicable within and beyond the EU. 

The sole responsibility for the content lies with the authors. The content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European commission. The European Commission is also not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

African and Asian farmers at the European Parliament: Only better incomes can drive sustainable value chains

On Thursday, 26th January 2023, the FTAO organised an event in the European Parliament on How to make due diligence work in agricultural value chains with Rainforest Alliance, Solidaridad, Fairtrade International.

The event was co-hosted by MEPs Heidi Hautala and Christophe Hansen. Smallholder farmers and producer representatives from Uganda, Ivory Coast, Mozambique and Malaysia highlighted that the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) must include purchasing practices, especially pricing, and a reference to living income and living wages.

They also highlighted that the legislative process as well as the implementation by companies must include stakeholder consultation to be effective in practice.

If you missed the event, you can stream the recording of the event here or read the summary here. 

You can also read the full press release here.

EU Textile Strategy: Civil Society’s demands to MEPs

January 2023, Brussels – In the context of the consideration of the European Parliament’s draft report on the EU Strategy for sustainable and circular textiles, the FTAO and 6 other civil society organisations put together a list of 12 actions that are needed for the Textile Strategy to deliver on its promise to make sustainable – both environmentally as well as socially – textile products the norm.

We call on MEPs to take action on:

  1. Developing ambitious and holistic ecodesign requirements
  2. Tackling global overproduction
  3. Ensuring a Just Transition
  4. Ensuring fairer purchasing practices
  5. Enabling the transparency of supply chains
  6. Implementing due diligence accountability
  7. Taking action on ultra-fast fashion
  8. Putting green and social washing to an end
  9. Implementing EU trade policy that rewards sustainability
  10. Maximising local re-use of textiles
  11. Phasing out hazardous chemicals in textiles
  12. Ensuring sustainable textile production in Europe

Read the full joint paper here.

New EU Regulation on deforestation-free products: the good and the bad

December 2022, Brussels

After more than a year of intense negotiations and right before the start of COP15, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have reached a provisional political agreement over the final text of the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products. The proposed new legislation would guarantee that the products that citizens buy on the EU market or that are exported from the EU do not contribute to global deforestation or forest degradation.

“While the new rules are a steppingstone in the right direction and will surely help to purge deforestation from EU supply chains, remaining loopholes might dilute their capacity to effectively decouple agricultural production from deforestation on a larger scale” comments Charlotte Vernier, Policy and Project Officer at the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, and team lead on deforestation.

Negotiators have agreed on extending the scope to other commodities such as rubber or charcoal but maintain the initial narrow approach of the Commission’s proposal on protected biomes. This constitutes a missed opportunity to prevent the conversion of other valuable ecosystems that are today under major threat and opens up the door to adverse displacement effects.

The provisional agreement sets strict mandatory due diligence rules for companies that will be obliged to trace back commodities to the plot of land where the latter were produced. We strongly welcome this level of ambition as it will help reduce the complexity and opacity of supply chains. With the introduction of a new mandatory polygon mapping obligation for land over 4 hectares, it will however be key to consider the specific compliance challenges that smallholders may face, and design fit-for-purpose support measures to avoid their market exclusion.

In order to alter companies’ business-as-usual activities through a qualitative and inclusive process, meaningful stakeholder engagement is recognized as a key component of due diligence as per existing international due diligence standards, such as the OECD Guidelines and the UN Guiding Principles. Including meaningful engagement as part of the country benchmarking is a positive step but addresses different stakeholders and objectives – it does not replace the need to fully embed meaningful stakeholder engagement in companies’ due diligence obligation. On a positive note, EU decision makers managed to agree on a certain percentage of checks that will be conducted as well as on a satisfying penalty system to ensure greater enforcement.

However, “this legislation won’t be good for nature, if it’s not good for people” stated Charlotte Vernier and added that the FTAO regrets seeing the weak level of protection offered in the final text to the rights of Indigenous Peoples compared to what the Parliament and EU citizens were calling for.

To succeed in the global fight against the twin climate and biodiversity crises the EU must take the responsibility to expand its approach beyond a single metric and adopt a truly systemic approach” continues Charlotte Vernier.

The FTAO has noticed with great concern the absence of any references to smallholders in the official communiqués even though a large majority of the production of covered commodities such as cocoa and coffee lies in their hands.

In this context, a few unresolved issues remain and crucial elements are still to be agreed upon in the upcoming weeks at a technical level. Among them is the need to ensure an obligation for operators to undertake reasonable and documented efforts to support the compliance of smallholders including through fair pricing mechanisms.

We call upon policymakers to consider income as a vital part of the puzzle for the structural changes needed to happen. It is only by allowing farmers to grow their businesses out of poverty that they will be able to invest in more sustainable farming practices that respect planetary boundaries. “If smallholders can’t cover the costs of production and lack savings for additional investments, the transition toward a deforestation-free agricultural sector will move out of reach” says Charlotte Vernier. If this element isn’t properly addressed by the Regulation or left out of scope, smallholders will see themselves trapped in economic realities where expanding their land through deforestation is the only economically viable solution left to secure their livelihoods.

In the absence of a needs assessment that civil society organizations and producers’ networks have been calling for, it is furthermore of utmost importance that the Regulation foresees in the short term, maximum 2 years after entry into force, an in-depth evaluation of the impact of the regulation on farmers, in particular smallholders, indigenous peoples, and local communities and the possible need for additionalsupport for the transition to sustainable supply chains.

In its 2019 Communication on “Stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests”, the Commission committed to “work in partnership with producing countries to reduce pressures on forests” and to “support[ing] action to transform commodity value chains such as coffee, cocoa, palm oil, and livestock”. However, actions to deliver on this commitment have so far been piecemeal and insufficient to reverse a so far rather top-down approach in the way the proposal has been developed and communicated to partner countries. We look upon the Commission now to walk that talk, towards a comprehensive and complementary set of demand and supply-side measures that would be truly conducive to structural changes on the ground, without leaving no one behind.

Press contact:

Charlotte Vernier

Policy and Project Office, Team Lead on deforestation

EU DUE DILIGENCE LEGISLATION FOR A POSITIVE IMPACT: Council position takes a step back in making due diligence work for stallholder farmers and workers

1st of December, Brussels – Today, responsible ministers met as part of the Competitiveness council to vote on the Council position on the Corporate Sustainable Due Diligence Directive. Since the Commission presented the legislative proposal on the 23rd February 2022, the Council has been discussing their position and while there are some positive developments, the Council has failed to deliver a strong position that would hold business accountable.

The Fair Trade movement is happy to see that a slightly stronger role was given to stakeholder engagement by expanding the definition and by including human rights defenders, trade unions and civil society organisations. The position also strengthens the requirement to consult with stakeholders in some parts of the due diligence process, although not at all relevant steps. At the same time, the text remains gender blind, not acknowledging the need to account for different impacts felt by different groups in a vulnerable position.

The aim of the directive should be to support long term development of sustainable global value chains, which requires that the entire value chain is covered. In a positive development, the Council removed the concept of “established business relationships” which led to unclarity on how far through the supply chain the obligation reached and posed the danger of companies avowing long term sourcing relationships. However, at the same time, the scope of the due diligence obligation was narrowed from “value chains” to “chain of activities” which not only significantly limits the coverage of downstream impacts, but also unduly restricts the coverage in the upstream supply chain to immediate inputs into the production process.

Elena Lunder, Policy and Project Advisor leading on CSDDD at the FTAO comments that to ensure sustainable improvements in global value chains, the status quo of business as usual must be challenged so it is disappointing to see that the due diligence obligation does not include a revision of a companies’ purchasing practices.

Their importance is already acknowledged in the recital 30, that a company’s own trading, procurement and pricing practices can play a key role in the ability of business partners to produce sustainably.

Instead, the Council text sticks to the Commission’s proposed emphasis on the use of cascading contractual clauses that would pass on a company’s code of conduct to their business partners. Combined with verification of compliance by third party audits, this mechanism has the potential to enable companies to also “cascade” accountability to their business partners without addressing their own practices that might be causing or contributing to adverse impacts.

To reach the aims of the CSDDD a collaborative approach would need to be encouraged by the due diligence obligation which would mean that the accountability and responsibility for adverse impacts is proportionately carried by relevant actors. A step in this direction is the strengthening of the support to SMEs that should be part of due diligence by larger companies which includes guarantees for long term sourcing. Such agreements are key for smaller actors in global value chains to be able to plan for an invest into a more sustainable production. However, the Fair Trade movement was disappointed to see that the Council position narrowed the application of support measures in recital 47, excluding non-EU actors in global value chains. Without also offering relevant support to non-EU actors further up the supply chain, effective change in occurrence of human rights violations and environmental harm is not possible.

The same is true without good accountability and access to remedy provisions. The Council position has significantly watered down the proposed text of the Commission on civil liability. Without clear accountability mechanisms, including civil liability, none of the other elements in the due diligence process will be enforced to their full extent. 

In furthering a more cooperative approach, the Fair Trade movement also welcomes the clarification by the Council that disengagement from business partners should only be used as a last resort when previous attempts to prevent or mitigate the adverse impacts were not successful. However, it should be clarified, that stakeholder engagement plays a key role in this process. At the same time, the Council adds an exception to the need to disengage in cases where there is no comparable supplier and termination would cause substantial prejudice to the company. This is not in line with the UNGPs or OECD Guidelines and in practice, it would mean that business interests are placed above human rights and the environment even in cases of harm that are well known to the company.

Finally, the due diligence obligation only covers a limited list of human rights and environmental impacts. The Council position would only oblige very large companies to adopt a climate transition plan in line with 1.5°C objective of the Paris Agreement. The due diligence obligation does not include contributions to climate change and the responsibility to be held accountable for prevention, mitigation and remediation.

It is key that the CSDDD refers to living wages, however, by not also explicitly mentioning living incomes a large group of people working in global value chains will not be protected. This includes smallholder farmers who produce most of the world’s food, self-employed people, platform workers and other precarious forms of work.

Press contact: Elena Lunder (

Human rights are not on sale: Living wages, purchasing practices and overproduction in the textile sector

Black Friday rhymes with great deals and aggressive discounts, including in the clothing sector. In the last decade or so, it has spread from the US across the globe to become the biggest shopping event of the year in many countries. But how is it possible for brands to slash prices to such extent and even extend sales in the days before and after Black Friday, when the prices they charge the rest of the year are insufficient to pay their workers living wages?

Let’s unpack!

First, it is important not to forget that for many people, Black Friday is one of the only times in the year where they can buy needed goods at a price that they can afford. This year, it may be the case for an increasing number of people, as food and energy prices are soaring around the world.

However, the scale of “exciting” deals and “limited” offers are designed to make customers feel overwhelmed with choice, to stimulate a sense of false urgency and in the end, to trigger us to purchase articles that we do not need, just because they are cheap.

Fast fashion brands can sustain this model thanks to their purchasing, trading and pricing practices, the conditions under which they buy the clothes they sell us from the manufacturers. They typically adopt practices which allow them to renew collections several times a month throughout the year, produce large quantities of clothes at a low unit price, and apply huge discounts during sales, including on Black Friday.

But these practices have a direct impact on the human rights of the workers who make these clothes and on our planet. The contract, order, pricing and payment terms between the suppliers (the factories where our clothes are made) and their buyers (the brands that sell these clothes to us) directly affect the ability of suppliers to respect the human rights of their workers.


  • Low buying prices: due to the high competition between small suppliers in the garment sector, brands are able to purchase orders for very low prices, often below the cost of production. Two thirds of suppliers have already accepted a price below total production costs per unit because they feared losing business (ILO study, 2017)[1]. Worse, when the minimum wage almost doubled in Bangladesh in 2014 from 3,000 to 5,300 Taka, almost no buyers agreed to a price increase to reflect increasing labour costs[2]. It is well documented (ILO, EU) that most companies do not check whether their purchasing prices allow their suppliers to implement living wages.
  • Short lead times: to keep up with renewing collections in a short time frame, making available huge amounts of styles, sudden changes in order volumes, etc., deadlines for the manufacturing of products are often unreasonably short. Like above, because of high competition between suppliers, they may lose orders if they refuse to reduce the time between the date of the order and the date the products are shipped out. To meet such deadlines, suppliers often resort to excessive and forced overtime, or turn to unauthorised subcontracting, often to informal workers based at home who are exposed to particularly acute risks and bad working conditions.

Other irresponsible and unfair purchasing practices include changing or cancelling orders at the last minute, late or delayed payments, unilateral amendment of contract terms or shifting the risks on the suppliers in contractual terms. Other impacts on human rights include cuts in wages, social security contributions, health and safety facilities, delays in payment of wages (even no payment of wages in cases of sudden cancellation, like often was the case during COVID-19), the imposition of unreasonable production quotas per worker, increases in risks of violence and harassment.

This is possible because garment supply chains are buyer-driven: brands and retailers have a lot more power than their suppliers, which allows them to control the activities of companies in the supply chain that they do not own, who in turn transfer this pressure to the workers[3]. This power imbalance also creates a culture of fear where suppliers tend to not sue the brands for those of the unfair purchasing practices that are illegal.

The business model of fast fashion enabled by the above mentioned irresponsible and unfair purchasing practices also leads to overproduction. The amount of overproduction is unknown due to lack of transparency by brands, but there are estimations of 30% of produced garments are never sold, and often these are blatantly destroyed.[4]

How can Good Clothes, Fair Pay help change this?

Good Clothes, Fair Pay not only calls for living wage legislation across the garment sector, it also calls for the prohibition of unfair trading practices which cause, or contribute to, harms to workers. These include:

  • Buyer paying the supplier later than 60 days after the end of an agreed delivery period;
  • Buyer cancelling orders without notice;
  • Buyer changes or fails to provide complete information regarding the terms;
  • Buyer requiring the supplier to pay for damages that occur after ownership has been transferred to the buyer;
  • Buyer refusing to agree on a production price that enables suppliers paying living wages to their workers.

We are convinced regulating brands’ purchasing practices so that they become fair will lift one of the key obstacles to living wages being paid to the people who make our clothes.

Coming back to Black Friday

Right now, suppliers are pressured to produce more clothes in shorter time frames at lower cost, ultimately leading to overproduction and waste and massive human rights violations. Now is the time for a systemic shift away from fast fashion. Putting fairness at the centre of fashion will not only result in increased respect for human rights but would also help the whole sector move away from overproduction and excessive waste, thereby reducing its environment and climate impact. Join the movement and sign Good Clothes, Fair Pay!

A silver lining is that according to a recent report, Black Friday’s popularity among consumers is dropping, with sales declining every year[5]. One of the factors for this loss in popularity could very well be sustainability concerns, which push consumers to make more conscious decisions in what they buy. Consumers expect more from their favourite brands – so let’s change the fashion industry!

[1] ILO, Purchasing practices and low wages in global supply chains: empirical cases from the garment industry, 2017. Available here.

[2] ILO, Purchasing practices and low wages in global supply chains: empirical cases from the garment industry, 2017. Available here.

[3] ILO, Purchasing practices and low wages in global supply chains: empirical cases from the garment industry, 2017. Available here.

[4] Fashion United, Infographic: the extent of overproduction in the fashion industry, Marjorie van Elven, 2018. Available here.

[5] Fashion United, New report suggests Black Friday’s popularity is continuing to dip, Rachel Douglass, 2022. Available here.

COP27 Press Release – The Clock Is Ticking

November 2022

At COP27, Fair Trade organizations reiterate their urgent call for inclusive climate solutions as smallholder farmers and workers face growing climate threats.

BONN, Germany – Global leaders must strengthen and accelerate efforts to enforce human rights and environmental due diligence in supply chains, confront trade injustice, and ensure that climate financing mechanisms reach the world’s smallholder agricultural producers in order to deliver successful and equitable climate action before it is too late, the world’s leading Fair Trade organizations have warned.

In a position paper titled The Clock Is Ticking! and released ahead of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27, Fairtrade, the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) have intensified their calls for trade and climate justice, indicating the critical measures for delivering fair climate solutions and demanding the enforcement of public climate commitments and for trade actors to be accountable for their climate promises.

“International trade today is not only one of the leading contributors to climate change, but also drives high costs of doing business that cut across supply chains, affecting farmers readiness to respond to climate catastrophes. As Fairtrade, we seek a multi-stakeholder partnership and collaboration approach, towards addressing efforts that strengthen producers resilience and capacity to manage adverse impacts of climate change,” said Sandra Uwera,
Global CEO at Fairtrade International.

“With world leaders, international delegates, and civil society actors now gathering for COP27, Fairtrade and the Fair Trade movement are once again called upon to remind them of their duty to right the global wrongs that continue to disproportionately impact our planet’s most vulnerable communities and deliver equitable climate action once and for all.”

The Clock Is Ticking!

Held in Sharm El Sheikh from 06 November to 18 November, COP27 will bring together global leaders and leading stakeholders to discuss the international community’s climate ambitions and a pathway to building back sustainably following the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Against this backdrop, the Fair Trade movement’s position paper calls on leaders of government and the private sector to immediately deliver on climate targets by meeting the $100 billion USD climate aid commitment promised by the end of 2022; ensuring climate finance delivers for small holder farmers, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and workers by including them in the design of climate programmes; agreeing on regulations that tackle the root causes of environmental degradation, such as deforestation, by penalising noncompliance; and supporting farmers, SMEs, and workers with the costs of adaptation and mitigation.

In addition, the paper reiterates the organizations’ long-standing call for businesses to “pay fair prices to smallholder farmers, SMEs and workers.”

“The biggest challenge to combatting climate change is eliminating the current economic system that is dependent on fossil fuels and the extraction of natural resources,” explained Leida Rijnhout, Chief Executive of WFTO. “Without real accountability on what the big polluters are doing, mission-led business models, including SMEs, are the only way to go.” “WFTO members are showcasing that another economy is possible,” Ms. Rijnhout added. “They can be the driving force to achieve climate justice.”

Empowering through inclusive climate finance

According to Fairtrade, WFTO, and FTAO, among the persisting obstacles facing small-scale farmers remains the lack of financial assistant to empower them to successfully mitigate and adapt to climate challenges. In fact, the organizations have long noted that less than 2% of climate finance makes its way to small-scale farmers and that awarding criteria and procedures of financial mechanisms must be aligned to small producers and their organizations so that they can access available funding and manage it in a non-bureaucratic way.

In addition, the Fair Trade organizations are once again urging governments and the private sector to ensure that climate efforts are constructed in an inclusive manner, noting that smallholder farmers and workers have the most comprehensive understanding of how climate change affects their local environments. Such an inclusive set-up, the organizations argue, can help provide invaluable insights on how farmers and producer organizations can make the necessary changes towards becoming more resilient and more sustainable through renewable energies and energy efficiency, reforesting and stopping deforestation, and restoring soil health to enhance its productive potential, thereby limiting the expansion of agricultural land in places with high carbon stock.

“It is urgent to untap the potential of worldwide smallholder farmers, producers and artisans to contribute to climate and social justice,” said Jorge Conesa, FTAO Managing Director. “Major consumer regions, like the EU, have great leverage and also a great responsibility: they must live up to their climate ambitions, while refraining from sabotaging themselves by not addressing global abusive trading practices.”

# # #

Read full press release here

For press inquiries, contact


October 2022

Quito, Ecuador – In the framework of the international conference of Fair Trade Towns that took place between 21st and 23rd of October, the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Commerce of Ecuador organized the first Euro-Latin American governmental meeting on Fair Trade. Under the theme of “Fair Trade as a strategy to combine environmental and social sustainability in trade relations between Latin America and the European Union”, it gathered government and agency representatives from Ecuador, European Union, Ghana, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, States of Africa, Pacific and Caribbean, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Honduras, Colombia and Paraguay. As well as a representative from the United Nations Forum for Voluntary Sustainability Standards.

The participants exchanged their national experiences on public policies and/or national projects that promote Fair Trade or its principles. From recognition of Fair Trade at constitutional level to workshops on gender and Fair Trade, all efforts put Fair Trade at its core and bring countries closer to achieving sustainable development. A second objective was to discuss the consolidation of a network of countries interested in promotion of Fair Trade, also through joint international efforts. In that sense, main takeaways from the participants were that there is a need of joint collaborative work among governments and to install Fair Trade in the public agendas. As well as the need of creating spaces to discuss creation of public policies for promotion and uptake of Fair Trade. The latter point links directly to the value of this first encounter organized by the FTAO and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Commerce of Ecuador. In terms of next steps, the formalization of such a network will be sought among participant countries and the identification of the best vehicle to bring to existence this network of friend countries of Fair Trade.

As stated by Ambassador Isabel Albornoz, we hope this is “the first of many encounters that allow to connect consumers with producers and retailers and that allows producers to receive a fair price throughout the supply chain”.

The FTAO thanks the representatives from Ecuador, European Union, Ghana, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, States of Africa, Pacific and Caribbean and from Chile, for their active participation in this encounter and for the sharing of their experiences in implementing policies and projects in their territories. The FTAO hopes this network can be consolidated and that joint efforts are sought for more promotion of Fair Trade through public policies also for other countries. We would like to thank also to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Foreign Commerce of Ecuador for their support and commitment in the implementation of Fair Trade.

Press contact: Virginia Enssle (, +31 627214411

Full press release