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Press Release in English

16 September 2021

Ahead of the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, set to be held in Glasgow this November, actors of the global Fair Trade movement have published a position paper calling on the international community to ensure that ambitious climate aims go hand in hand with climate and trade justice goals.

Every human being on the planet will be affected by the consequences of climate change if decisive action is not taken soon. However, we will not all suffer from it to the same extent. The structural inequalities in our economic systems that the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare could be exacerbated by a rapidly changing climate.  The contributions of farmers, workers, and producers are key to address this issue and achieve a sustainable future. This will require the eradication of business models based on an extreme imbalance in negotiating power between buyer companies and producers that lead to the former imposing abusive conditions on the latter.

There can be no climate justice without fair trade. It would be unacceptable for farmers and producers to bear the full costs of the climate transition on their own. Policymakers must ensure they receive the support they need to make this shift while making sure they obtain fair prices for their products.



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