News and press releases

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

Press Release: MEPs call on the Commission to follow civil society approach in textile strategy

On 3 June, a group of 53 Members of the European Parliament (MEP) from across the political spectrum wrote a letter to Commissioner Sinkevičius, Hogan, Reynders, and Urpilainen endorsing civil society’s approach to rethinking the global textile value chain. In their letter, MEPs stress the “need to adopt a truly comprehensive approach that deals with the various issues highlighted in [the] civil society strategy, including human rights, environment, governance, and gender”. read more

The Civil Society Shadow European Strategy for Sustainable Textile, Garments, Leather and Footwear

On Thursday, 23 April 2020, The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) along with a diverse coalition of civil society organisations, launched the ‘shadow strategy’ for fair and sustainable textiles. The strategy lays out a set of recommendations for the European Union to address the various challenges of textile value chains, including environmental sustainability, human rights, governance, labour rights, and gender among others read more

Ivorian cooperatives call for long-term solutions to cocoa supply chain issues

The FTAO met with a delegation of cocoa producer cooperatives from the Ivorian Fair Trade Network (RICE), visiting Brussels for the Salon du Chocolat, on the 17 February 2020. This was a great opportunity for FTAO, and the other CSOs in attendance, to hear about how the policy issues that we engage with relate to the reality on the ground in producer countries.

The cooperative representatives expressed their support for a more sustainable cocoa sector and welcomed the interest that the EU has shown in making environmentally and socially sustainable cocoa supply chains a reality. read more