11 Dec 2023

UNIDO and Fairtrade International forge partnership for sustainable supply chains

In Dubai, the two organisations signed a new agreement emphasising their shared commitment to promoting sustainable supply chains and enhancing the value addition of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), smallholder farmers and workers.

DUBAI, UAE – Despite being crucial for inclusive and sustainable industrial development, global supply chains still feature widespread human rights and environmental sustainability shortcomings. Workers and small-scale producers, especially women and young people, often face hazardous working conditions and low wages and incomes.

Demonstrating a firm commitment to fostering sustainable supply chains, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Fairtrade International inked a new Joint Declaration at the 28th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in Dubai. The declaration, signed on 10 December by Gunther Beger, Managing Director of UNIDO, and Sandra Uwera Murasa, Global CEO of Fairtrade International, marks a promising step in addressing the growing challenges facing global supply chains.

In the Joint Declaration, UNIDO and Fairtrade emphasise their shared commitment to promoting sustainable supply chains and enhancing the value addition of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), smallholder farmers and workers. The partnership will prioritise supporting suppliers in producer countries in key areas such as market access, impact investment, corporate sustainability, the implementation of human rights and environmental due diligence - including technical support to transition to agroecology and build climate resilience.

“This partnership comes at a crucial time for producers facing growing pressure from legislative measures while their costs of sustainable production are escalating, together with climate risks affecting their production and profitability”, said Sandra Uwera Murasa, Global CEO of Fairtrade International.

The Joint Declaration underscores the parties' intent to collect and share best practices in order to fortify the resilience and sustainability of global supply chains. UNIDO and Fairtrade aim to jointly raise awareness of the critical issues and engage in new projects, offering tailored assistance to producers and other relevant stakeholders in global supply chains.

“Addressing the challenge of making supply chains more sustainable requires strengthened cooperation among all actors and an increased commitment to support producers, particularly at the beginning of the supply chain. UNIDO and Fairtrade are building a coalition of partners dedicated to these shared goals”, emphasised Gunther Beger, Managing Director of UNIDO.

In this vein, the Declaration highlights the need for collaboration and for an inclusive process, developed with SMEs, farmers and workers, as well as other relevant public and private stakeholders, to equitably share the burden and benefits of the sustainable transition in global supply chains.


UNIDO is the specialised agency of the United Nations with a unique mandate to promote and accelerate sustainable industrial development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the overarching global framework for UNIDO's work. UNIDO plays a crucial role in accelerating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 9, along with all other industry-related goals of the 2030 Agenda.

First established in 1966 and transformed into a specialized UN agency in 1985, UNIDO has 172 Member States. In addition to its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, UNIDO has liaison offices in Brussels, Geneva and New York. The UNIDO field network consists of 48 regional and country offices. UNIDO also maintains ten Investment and Technology Promotion Offices.

UNIDO provides its support through four mandated functions: technical cooperation; action-oriented research and policy-advisory services; normative standards-related activities; and fostering partnerships for knowledge and technology transfer. Find out more at: https://www.unido.org/.

About Fairtrade International

Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions, and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.

Fairtrade International is an independent non-profit organization representing two million small-scale farmers and workers worldwide. It owns the FAIRTRADE Mark, a registered trademark of Fairtrade that appears on more than 30,000 products. Beyond certification, Fairtrade International and its member organizations empower producers, partner with businesses, engage consumers, and advocate for a fair and sustainable future. Find out more at http://www.fairtrade.net.