Advocacy & Position Papers

Fairtrade Advocacy Campaign in Sweden, ©Fairtrade Sweden

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

Sustainable Development Goals and Fairtrade: the case for partnership

October 2015

The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. The goals set the ambition of ending poverty “in all its forms, everywhere”, while leaving no-one behind. They represent a powerful opportunity to improve the lives of the 1.3 billion small scale farmers and agricultural workers upon whom the world depends to produce our food and protect our planet.

This report is intended as a tool for governments to understand the ways in which Fairtrade can support delivery of the SDGs; and by partner organizations, such as businesses who want to understand more about how they can work with the Fairtrade movement to generate real and lasting progress. 

Download the full report (2MB PDF)

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 (2MB 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 (3MB 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 (1MB PDF)

Download the full report (2MB 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 (5.5MB PDF)

A New Workers Rights Strategy for Fairtrade (0.5MB PDF)

June 2012

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

Food Miles and Fairtrade (0.5MB 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 (3MB 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 (6MB PDF)

Poverty Reduction and Trade: Fairtrade as a Vehicle to Combat Poverty (0.1MB PDF)

Spanish version - La Reduccion de la Pobreza y el Comercio (0.1MB PDF)

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 Producer Support Programme (0.5MB PDF)

February 2011

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

Fairtrade’s Contribution to a More Sustainable World (0.1MB PDF)

December 2010

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

Child Labour Position Paper (0.1MB 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.

October 2010

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.

The ETFP has finalized the report and the Steering Group recommendations from this process are available in English, French and Spanish (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.

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

Read Buy Fair - A guide to the public purchasing of Fairtrade products (PDF 896KB)

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