24 Sep 2020

It’s Global Goals Week - Let’s come together to drive lasting change

This week at Fairtrade we celebrate Global Goals Week, an annual week of action, awareness and accountability for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Initiated by the United Nations, it’s an opportunity for organizations, businesses, academia and citizens around the world to discuss progress so far, learn from each other and align on the road ahead.

In a year of unprecedented challenges and disruption, 2020 marks the 5th anniversary of the SDGs. This is a milestone to be celebrated. It also brings an opportunity to take a realistic look at where we stand. And, most importantly, what still needs to get done going forward. Individually and collectively.

At Fairtrade we play a crucial role in sustainable development. Nearly all the 169 targets which underpin the global goals are related to food and farming. The goals set the ambition of ending poverty “in all its forms, everywhere”, while leaving no-one behind. Therefore, 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. Something we have been striving to achieve for decades.

Naturally, we cannot tackle all goals alone. We focus on eight where we are in a position to drive impact and make a difference.

The Fairtrade Minimum Price is a safety net for 1.7 million farmers and workers in more than 75 countries, protecting them from volatile markets and contributing to SDG 1 - end poverty in all its forms everywhere. Our Hired Labour Standard ensures more than 200,000 workers growing or making our tea, flowers, footballs and textiles enjoy better working conditions, which is in line with SDG 8 - decent work for all. I invite you to watch this recent documentary, Fairtrade for Sustainable Development, to learn more about our activities.

By working with, convening, and mobilizing companies, government, media, producers and shoppers around the world, Fairtrade has become a champion of SDG 17-Partnerships. It is together that we solve the challenges of inequality to bring around sustainable production and consumption.

Yet, we at Fairtrade - and all actors worldwide - need to do even more. We all need to come together and drive exponential change if we are to meet the targets. As the core message of Global Goals Week says this year: we need to turn it around doing even more and better.

We are currently developing our strategy for the next five years. Taking into account how we can be even more impactful has been crucial, we want to make sure our activities advance global efforts. The SDGs are a compass for our 2030 aspirations. We will focus on more impactful and innovative solutions for the farmers for whom we work, and in finding better ways to connect with businesses and shoppers around the world using technology and making supply chains more transparent.

Partnering and collaborating across all sectors is fundamental. These are challenges which are interlinked, and all our actions cause a reaction somewhere else and vice versa. In the same way, supply chains are linked and every actor has a responsibility and role in making them fair and sustainable. We are each cause and effect when it comes to contributing to the SDGs and we will not achieve them working in silos.

Let’s turn it around.

Dario Soto Abril

CEO, Fairtrade International