Fairtrade enables positive change through long-term partnerships working towards a common goal.
In addition to facilitating trade partnerships, Fairtrade works with organizations that have expertise in specific areas or access to resources. These strategic partnerships add value to our work and the work of our partners, and ultimately increase the development impact of Fairtrade.
Identifying mutual objectives is a key to the success of strategic partnerships. These objectives include:
Fairtrade International works together with a number of organizations to amplify the voices of farmers and workers in key policy debates, supporting them to confront policies at the national, regional and global level that impede fair trade and sustainable business.
Fairtrade International is part of a network of Fair Trade organizations. Together with the World Fair Trade Organization - Europe and the European Fair Trade Association, we set up the Fair Trade Advocacy Office in Brussels.
Its mission is to speak out for Fair Trade and trade justice to improve the livelihoods of marginalised producers and workers. The FTAO focuses its political advocacy work on EU policies and provide input on global EU policies.
The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), originally known as the International Fair Trade Association, was created in 1989. It is a network of alternative trade and producer organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Pacific Rim. WFTO's mission is to improve the livelihoods and well being of disadvantaged handicrafts and agricultural producers. WFTO links and promotes Fair Trade in both developed and developing countries.
Fairtrade International partners with WFTO - Europe to advocate for Fair Trade and trade justice. WFTO Europe strategic aims are mainly to support the growth and consolidation of WFTO Global, to be the reference of Fair Trade in Europe, its representative organ and its voice, to protect the values of the Fair Trade and 100 percent commitment to it and, last but not least, to support fair trade policies.
Fairtrade International is a founding member of the ISEAL Global Living Wage Coalition advocating to improve wage levels in certified supply chains. The long-term goal and shared mission of the Global Living Wage Coalition is to see improvements in workers' conditions, including wage levels, in the farms, factories and supply chains participating in our respective certification systems and beyond. Learn more about Fairtrade’s work on Living Wage here.
Fairtrade is about partnerships. To carry out our mission, we work with a diverse group of partners on initiatives ranging from support for producers, to setting up Fairtrade marketing organizations in emerging economies, to addressing gender issues and ensuring that farmers and workers benefit from international supply chains.
Below is a list of some of the entities we have partnered with.
Under a project financed by French Development agency (AFD), the African Association of Cotton Producers (AProCA), an execution institution, and implementation partners like Fairtrade International, Max Havelaar France and Helvetas, worked together to assist West African cotton producers to improve their competitiveness and access to markets.
Since 2007, Fairtrade International and Brot für die Welt have partnered to bring Fairtrade benefits to producers. Our partnership with Brot für die Welt supports Fairtrade’s work in Asia. Brot für die Welt also contributed to the development of the Fairtrade Climate Standard.
Fairtrade implemented the Fairtrade for Development in Africa project in partnership with Comic Relief. In this project Fairtrade Africa, the Fairtrade Foundation (UK) and Fairtrade International worked together to strengthen Fairtrade’s approach in Africa. In addition to supporting institutional development in Fairtrade Africa, the partnership enabled stronger producer services, improved monitoring work, and increased demand for Fairtrade products in the UK. Comic Relief is now supporting Fairtrade's work with artisanal small-scale mining organizations in Africa.
DEG and FLOCERT are supporting the establishment of a Fairtrade Marketing Organization in the Philippines to ensure access to Fairtrade products in country as well as supporting Filipino producer organisations to become Fairtrade certified.
The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) and Fairtrade International share the goal of improving the lives of tea workers and promoting sustainability in the tea industry. In 2010, ETP and Fairtrade signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining plans to improve agricultural, environmental, labour and social conditions for tea workers, to work with stakeholders in the tea sector on sustainability issues and to bring Fairtrade to more tea estates and producer organizations.
The EC supports Fairtrade by contributing to create a dialogue between European Union (EU) citizens, decision-makers and the Fair Trade movement in various EU countries. Local fair trade organizations in seven European countries were partners of the programme and undertook lobbying and advocacy work in favour of Fairtrade in their respective countries. Fairtrade has now signed a Framework Partnership Agreement with the EC covering the period 2016-2020.
In Argentina, Fairtrade International and Fundación Fortalecer work to promote sustainable production systems in Fairtrade markets. We work with small-scale raisin and olive oil producers to improve their ability to comply with Fairtrade Standards and gain better market access.
KfW, the German Development Bank together with Incofin and Grameen Foundation and Fairtrade International work jointly to improve access to finance for Fairtrade certified producers through the Fairtrade Access Fund.
Fairtrade collaborated with GIZ to provide certification advice to cocoa farmers in Liberia. GIZ is also supporting the Fairtrade Textile Standard and Programme.
As a member of the German Initiative for Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) along with other certification schemes and NGOs, manufacturing and retail industry partners, and the German government, Fairtrade works to build a more sustainable cocoa value chain.
Fairtrade is a partner of the Global Deal, a global partnership led by the Swedish Government, ILO and OECD, that aims to contribute to Goals 8, 10 and 17 of the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Fairtrade’s work on decent work, increased productivity, gender equality and inclusive growth will help contribute to the Global Goals’ aims of advancing economic and social justice.
Our partnership with HIVOS enabled Fairtrade International and the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) to improve market access for low-income, disadvantaged Fairtrade producers through the development of a Quality Management System for Fair Trade. This includes the development and implementation of the International Fair Trade Charter.
Fairtrade International partnered with ICCO on several fronts including the Strategic Fairtrade Funding Programme (2010-2013). We also worked with ICCO to improve social compliance in the textile supply chain, and to explore opportunities for dual-certification of Fairtrade and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) forest products. ICCO also supported the development of the Fairtrade Climate Standard.
Fairtrade International, the Inter-American Foundation (IAF), and the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers and Workers (CLAC) announced an innovative partnership today at the Fairtrade International conference “Changing Trade, Changing Lives.” The partnership aims to boost income and food security for small-scale farmers, bolster resilience, and improve natural resource management in Latin America and the Caribbean. Learn more.
Fairtrade International joined the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) as a Non-Profit Contributing Partner. The partnership will allow the two organizations to learn from each other, improve their existing operating models, and reach more children and their families in cocoa communities in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to achieve a shared goal of eliminating child labour and enabling child protection. Learn more.
Following a successful joint pilot project in Ghana supporting cocoa producers to diversify their livelihoods through yam, we have agreed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with the International Trade Centre.
Fairtrade partnered with Irish Aid and Solidaridad to enhance the capacities of producer organizations in Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador) and East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia). The main emphasis of the partnership was focused on the coffee sector supporting sustainable production for both Fairtrade and Utz certified producers.
The German hypermarket chain supported climate change adaptation and irrigation projects with banana producers in Peru.
Fairtrade International partners with Lidl and small-scale coffee farmers in Peru and Mexico to build the producers capacity and resilience to the adverse effects of climate change and improve their livelihoods. Click here to see a film chronicling the work.
After the approval of a collaborative standards benchmark, Fairtrade and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) are working on the advancement of sugarcane-based biofuels and biomaterials. The objective of the partnership is to assess the potential for sugarcane farmers – across the developing world – to access bioproducts supply chains such as biofuel, sustainable aviation biofuels, bioplastics and biochemical. To find out more about this partnership, please download this brochure.
Fairtrade local staff and SNV local capacity builders worked together in 11 African countries, helping small-scale farmers and workers gain access to the Fairtrade system, and maximize the benefits of international trade. The partnership worked to develop Fairtrade value chains with high market potential. Across the continent, the combined efforts are leading to tangible improvements in the lives of producers and their communities. Read more about our partnership here.
SECO has supported Fairtrade International since 2008 in the framework of the Strategic Funding Consortium alongside DFID, IrishAid, ICCO and NORAD. SECO then extended its funding to Fairtrade International to 2015, in particular assisting us in developing new markets and in the ongoing work on Fairtrade gold.
DFID provided longer-term funding for selected civil society organisations through its Programme Partnership Arrangements (PPAs). Fairtrade International received PPA funding for 2011-2016, supporting our work on gender, prevention of child labour, workers’ rights, producer organisation’s development, MEL, value for money and institutional development of our producer networks.
The Brussels-based Fair Trade Advocacy Office and UNCTAD are joining forces to improve the living and working conditions of artisans, workers and smallholder farmers and producers in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Learn more.
Fairtrade International is an active member of the World Banana Forum represented on its Steering Committee, and on working group on distribution of value, working group on workers’ rights and on the gender equity task force.
Fairtrade worked as a media partner with Media Planet on their 2018 World Food Day campaign. The campaign launched on 16 October at the official FAO ceremony for World Food Day, with international distribution (print, online, video and social media platforms) for several months following the launch date. The campaign is hosted on www.fao.org and features exclusive thought leadership on www.globalcause.co.uk including social media and video activities. By working together, we can build a fairer world and contribute towards SDG 2 to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.