The European Green Deal will not be sustainable if it is not fair

(Brussels, 12 December 2019) The Fair Trade movement welcomes the European Green Deal unveiled yesterday by the European Commission President – but calls for small farmers and workers in the Global South to be included as equal partners in a “just and inclusive” transition to more sustainable consumption and production.

“The drivers of inequality and climate change are intrinsically linked, as are the solutions,” said Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office. “As the Fair Trade movement has warned during the current UN talks in Madrid, climate change exacerbates the poverty and vulnerability of small scale farmers and workers. Fairer value chains, on the other hand, can help to achieve social, ecological and financial sustainability.”

Corbalán welcomed the Green Deal’s focus on textiles and electronics in future EU efforts to promote a circular economy, but said that it must take account of the impact of supply chains not only on the planet but also on people, as recommended in a study published two days ago by the European Centre for Development Policy Management.

“We also applaud the “Farm to Fork” strategy to improve the position of farmers in the value chains”, he said. “But it is regrettable that the Commission only acknowledges that ‘European farmers and fishermen are key to managing the transition’ – ignoring the important role of non-EU farmers who grow and supply food consumed in Europe. Paying fair prices to producers, wherever they are based, is a prerequisite for a sustainable and fair food supply.”

The Fair Trade movement sees in the proposal for the EU “Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument” to support private investment in the Global South an opportunity for prioritizing business models designed to achieve social and environmental objectives, such as Fair Trade enterprises and cooperatives, rather than businesses that value profit maximisation at the expense of people and planet.

Among other measures announced in the European Green Deal, the Fair Trade movement welcomes the commitment to promote, via regulatory and non-regulatory measures, imported products and value chains that do not involve deforestation and forest degradation, while urging the Commission to include fair prices and living incomes for farmers as key elements of these measures.

“Finally, we call upon the Commission to implement a coordinated strategy across EU policy areas to promote not only green, but sustainable public procurement – as laid down in the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” Corbalán added.



The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) speaks out for Fair Trade and Trade Justice with the aim to improve the livelihoods of marginalised producers and workers in the South. The FTAO is a joint initiative of Fairtrade International, the World Fair Trade Organization-Global and the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe.



Sergi Corbalán | | Tel: +32 2 54 31 92 3

Fair Trade Advocacy Office

Village Partenaire – bureau 1 | 15 rue Fernand Bernierstraat | 1060 Brussels – Belgium


Sewing the pieces together: Towards an EU strategy for fair and sustainable textiles

The think tank ECDPM has been commissioned by Oxfam-Magasins du monde, the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office with the task of developing a comprehensive study on the textile supply chains.  Sewing the pieces together: Towards an EU strategy for fair and sustainable textiles, is a research paper which assesses the available options for the EU to put in place an ambitious and integrated EU strategy in support of fair and sustainable textile supply chains.

This options paper offers yet another set of arguments for the urgent need for a comprehensive EU Strategy on the textile supply chain and brings us one step closer to having a tangible proposal on the table.

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Full report


For more information contact Jorge Conesa, Project Coordinator at the FTAO, at

No Climate Resilience Without Trade Justice

On the occasion of the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), COP25, the Fair Trade movement has issued a joint policy statement with the title: No climate resilience without trade justice.

Please find it here: EN; FR; ES; IT; DE; PL

Fair Trade European Parliament Breakfast Highlights Fair Trade Issues to MEPs

This morning (10th October 2019) a group of Members of European Parliament (MEPs), members of civil society organisations and Fair Trade producer organisations and networks gathered in the Members Salon in the European Parliament for the annual Fair Trade breakfast.

The breakfast, which was hosted by MEP Bernd Lange (Germany) from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and Chair of the International Trade Committee, and organised by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, was attended by over 140 participants. It was possible thanks to the financial support of the European Commission and the Trade for Development Centre, in the framework of Belgium’s Fair Trade week, an initiative of the Belgian Development Cooperation.

MEP Bernd Lange said, “I am very happy to host the first fair trade breakfast of this term in the European Parliament. European trade policies should contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals worldwide and fair trade is an interesting tool to achieve those goals. It also helps to make people in Europe aware that what we consume here has an impact on the environment and the conditions in which goods are produced elsewhere. We as MEPs have the responsibility to make sure that human rights are protected throughout the whole supply-chain of goods that we import.”

The attendees were presented with the Fair Trade movement’s views on how the EU could create an enabling policy environment for Fair Trade and sustainable supply chains in the 2019-2024 term. This includes calls for small-farmer and worker-friendly Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation, EU action plans for fair and sustainable cocoa and textile supply chains, a pro-sustainability interpretation of EU competition law, and measures to promote the uptake of Fair Trade practices in the EU and its partner countries. This was followed by a debate amongst participants.

“We look forward to working with Members of the European Parliament to ensure that Fair Trade values are an integral part of the European Green Deal proposed by EC President-elect Ursula Von Der Leyen,” said Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office.

Bernd Lange invited MEPs to join the Fair Trade Working Group, an informal group of cross-party group at the European Parliament. The event concluded with an opportunity for networking and taking photos with speech bubbles that demonstrated different commitments and policy demands.

For more information, please contact Sergi Corbalán at or by calling +32 2 54 31 92 3.

The Fair Times Campaign Welcomes New Members of the European Parliament

Together with the pan-European organisations involved in The Fair Times 2019 European elections campaign, the FTAO, IFOAM EU, CIDSE, RIPESS and ECOLISE extend congratulations to all candidates elected to the European Parliament for the 2019-2024 term.

The five civil society networks and their respective members across Europe have joined  forces to deliver The Fair Times campaign, using their collective voice to call for a fair and sustainable European production and consumption agenda.  

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Call for Research Proposals on Fair & Sustainable Textile Supply Chains

Call for proposals – Research on options for an ambitious and integrated EU strategy in support of fair and sustainable textile supply chains

In the context of increasing concern for both social and environmental impacts of textile production and consumption, there is an urgent need for better regulation of textile supply chains. Progress has been particularly slow at the European Union (EU) level, in spite of increasing pressure by inter alia the European Parliament.

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Organisations call for a EU food policy and a Vice President for Food

The FTAO has joined other campaign groups, farming organisations, and think tanks to call on the next European Commission President to put an EU food policy in place.

The organisations involved represent the sectors of farming, fisheries, environment, animal welfare, health, consumers, development, social justice, climate, and forestry. In an open letter to the lead candidates for the presidency, we called for an EU food policy to be put in place, and a European Commission Vice-President to be made responsible for ensuring the transition to sustainable food systems.

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Fair Trade & the EU with Linda McAvan MEP

Our Communications Assistant, Ffion Storer Jones sat down with Linda McAvan MEP ahead of World Fair Trade Day to talk about her work supporting Fair Trade over her 20 years as an MEP and how she encourages us all to take action in support of Fair Trade. read more

Call for proposals for Impact Research and Legal Advice on Human Rights Due Diligence Frameworks

Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD) frameworks are effective tools in promoting fairer and more sustainable supply chains . They also have the potential to steer companies to address human rights and environmental issues in a way that serves long term socio-economic development and contribute to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the implementation of HRDD frameworks lead to real change in companies’ trading practices and have a positive impact on small farmers and workers. read more

Call for papers for an academic conference on EU Competition Law & Sustainability

A one-day academic conference on EU Competition Law & Sustainability will take place at Science Po in Paris on the 26th of June 2019.

In the context of a global system of production that is increasingly interconnected and exponentially exercising pressure on the planet and people’s lives, this conference is inspired by the desire to imagine a system of competition law (or beyond competition law) that is fully embedded in the double limit of the planetary boundaries and of social considerations, inspired by Kate Raworth’s ‘Doughnut Economics’ and elaborated by Tomaso Ferrando & Claudio Lombardi in ‘EU Competition Law and Sustainability in Food Systems: Addressing the Broken Links’.

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