Advocacy & Position Papers

Fairtrade International and our members regularly publish advocacy and position papers on current topics affecting farmers and workers, and the world in general.

Fairtrade and Cotton

May 2015

Millions of small-scale farmers in developing countries depend on cotton for their livelihoods. But these farmers’ incomes are being hit by low and volatile cotton prices and by the rising costs of food, fuel, transport and arm inputs, preventing investment in modern farming practices and technology. This report looks at the current reality for small-scale cotton farmers, the challenges and opportunities they face, and how Fairtrade works to help them overcome those challenges.

Download the full report (PDF)

Sugar Crash

May 2015 

An end to the European Union’s quota system for ACP countries could push 200,000 people into poverty by 2020. For many of these people dependent on income from sugar, the end of quotas combined with falling sugar prices could create a dire situation. Fairtrade is calls on the EU to convene and lead an initiative that brings together government, business and civil society, to jointly fund and deliver programmes to support sugar cane farming communities through this difficult period. shoppers can play their part, by standing by the sugar farmers that have been failed by politics, and show their support by choosing Fairtrade sugar – or cane sugar from developing countries.

Download the full report (PDF)

A Seat at the Table: Ensuring Smallholder Farmers are Heard in Public-Private Partnerships

September 2014

Governments and NGOs are increasingly partnering with the private sector to tackle global hunger and poverty, but this study from the Fairtrade Foundation warns that far from being a silver bullet, some agricultural public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Africa appear to prioritize commercial interests while ignoring the needs of the smallholder farmers they claim to help – and they could even exacerbate poverty.

Read the Executive Summary (PDF)

Download the full report (PDF)

Powering up Smallholder Farmers to Make Food Fair

May 2013

Seventy percent of the world’s food is produced by 500 million smallholder farmers; this group also represents half of the world’s hungry people. On World Fair Trade Day 2013, Fairtrade International released this report calling for urgent action to support smallholder farmers.

Read Powering up Smallholder Farmers to Make Food Fair (PDF)

A New Workers Rights Strategy for Fairtrade (PDF)

June 2012

Fairtrade's new strategy on how to support and empower workers is presented.

Food Miles and Fairtrade (PDF)

November 2011

This paper explains the Fairtrade perspective that the current 'food miles' concept is an unreliable guide for consumers who want to make an ethical choice when shopping.

The Great Cotton Stitch-Up

From the foreword by the UK secretary of state, Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP:

November 2010

Cotton is at the heart of agricultural and economic development in many African countries. It makes a vital contribution to foreign exchange earnings and accounts for a significant proportion of GDP and tax income.

This report by the Fairtrade Foundation shows how, in the 10 years since the initiation of the Doha Development Round of world trade talks over $40bn has been allocated by major economies to supporting their own cotton production. Direct losses to West Africa as a result of US and EU subsidies are estimated at $250m per annum, according to Oxfam. The system pits a typical Malian producer, farming two hectares of cotton, who is lucky to gross $400 a year, against US farms which receive a subsidy of $250 per hectare.

Click here to download the report (PDF).

Partners for Prosperity: SNV and FLO

June 2011

A partnership between FLO and the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) is helping build local capacity. FLO liaison officers and SNV work to develop Fairtrade value chains with high market potential.

As a result of the partnership, numerous farming communities in eleven African countries now benefit from expanded market access, increased production, employment and income, as well as broader social progress and greater control over their future.

Read more about the partnership in our recently published booklet (PDF)

Poverty Reduction and Trade: Fairtrade as a Vehicle to Combat Poverty (PDF)

Spanish version - La Reduccion de la Pobreza y el Comercio

May 2011

This paper looks at the obstacles faced by producers from developing countries on the international trading market and how the Fairtrade system can support them and help combat poverty through development.

Fairtrade’s Contribution to a More Sustainable World (PDF)

December 2010

The focus of this paper is on Fairtrade's role in sustainable development.

Child Labour Position Paper (PDF)

November 2010

This paper explains Fairtrade's position on child labour and how it works to stop and prevent child labour within producer organizations.

Fairtrade's Producer Support Programme (PDF)

November 2011

This paper presents the Fairtrade producer support programme, which is designed to support producers in climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.

Asegurando Confianza de Consumidores en Comercio Etico

Debido al rápido aumento de esquemas de comercio ético y la necesidad de mejorar el entendimiento sobre los problemas asociados con alegaciones ‘éticas’ inexactas y poco fiables, se estableció un proceso de investigación del comercio ético (ETFP) en mayo de 2007. El ETFP fue liderado por un Equipo Directivo constituido por Consumers International, el Organismo Nacional de Normalización francés AFNOR, el Organismo Nacional de Normalización brasileño ABNT, la ISEAL Alliance y las organizaciones de Comercio Justo Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) y World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) (representada por la Fair Trade Advocacy Office), con la Secretaría de ISO COPOLCO como observador.

El objetivo del proceso es generar confianza en los consumidores a la hora de comprar productos y servicios comercializados éticamente, recomendando soluciones para reducir la posible confusión del consumidor causada por alegaciones ‘éticas’ inexactas y poco fiables.

El  ETFP ha finalizado, el informe final y las recomendaciones del Equipo Directivo proceso están disponibles en español, inglés y francés (PDF 800KB).

Fairtrade Fights Child Labour

June 2010

An overview on how Fairtrade is tackling the root causes of child labour.

Climate Change and Fairtrade: Why Is It Time to Make the Links?(PDF)

April 2010

Here it is highlighted how Fairtrade can be used as a vehicle to address climate change and the related consequences faced by Fairtrade producers.

Buy Fair - Una guía para la compra pública de productos de Comercio Justo

Este folleto ofrece consejos claros y sencillos para las autoridades públicas que desean comprar productos de Comercio Justo. La guía trata los siguientes aspectos:

  • Una introducción al Comercio Justo
  • Asesoramiento sobre cómo minimizar la inseguridad jurídica en la contratación
  • El texto que puede ser utilizado directamente en las licitaciones públicas
  • Sugerencias para otras actividades complementarias

Lea Buy Fair - Una guía para la compra pública de productos de Comercio Justo (PDF 896KB)

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