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
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.
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.
A Seat at the Table: Ensuring Smallholder Farmers are Heard in Public-Private Partnerships
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.
Powering up Smallholder Farmers to Make Food Fair
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.
Fairtrade's new strategy on how to support and empower workers is presented.
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:
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.
Partners for Prosperity: SNV and FLO
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.
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.
The focus of this paper is on Fairtrade's role in sustainable development.
This paper explains Fairtrade's position on child labour and how it works to stop and prevent child labour within producer organizations.
This paper presents the Fairtrade producer support programme, which is designed to support producers in climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.
Assuring Consumer Confidence in Ethical Trade
Given the rapid increase in ethical labelling schemes around the world and the need to better understand the problems associated with inaccurate and unreliable claims, an "Ethical Trade Fact-finding Process" (ETFP) was set up in May 2007. The process was led by a Steering Group (SG) consisting of Consumers International, AFNOR - the French National Standards Body, ABNT - the Brazilian National Standards Body, the ISEAL Alliance, and the Fair Trade organisations FLO and WFTO (Fair Trade Advocacy Office), with the Secretary of ISO COPOLCO as an observer.
The aim of the ETFP is to build consumer confidence in purchasing ethically-traded products and services by recommending solutions to reduce the potential for consumer confusion caused by inaccurate and unreliable 'ethical' claims.
An overview on how Fairtrade is tackling the root causes of child labour.
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 -A Guide to the public purchasing of Fair Trade products
This leaflet is meant to provide clear and simple advice for public authorities wishing to purchase Fair Trade products. The guide includes the following:
- An introduction to Fair Trade
- Advice on minimising legal uncertainties in procurement
- Actual text that can be used directly in public tenders
- Suggestions for other complementary activities
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