Cooperative movement supports International Fair Trade Charter

25 Sep 2018

Today, the International Co-operative Alliance is among the more than 250 organizations around the world uniting to launch an International Fair Trade Charter. It sets down the fundamental values of Fair Trade and defines a common vision towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Business as usual will not deliver the step change needed to meet the SDGs, adopted by the world’s nations. Far from marching a steady course to reach these global goals by 2030, in some areas we are even going backwards.  A recent United Nations report shows that hunger has actually risen in the past three years after a long period of decline, leaving  one  in  nine  people  undernourished (The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018).

The International Fair Trade Charter sets out a different  vision:  a  world  in  which  justice,  equity  and  sustainable  development  are  at  the  heart  of  trade  structures,  business  models  and  practices  so  that  everyone,  through  their  work,  can  maintain  a  decent  and  dignified  livelihood  and  develop  their  full  human  potential.

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Aims of the Charter

The Charter, initiated by Fairtrade International  and the  World  Fair  Trade  Organization,  has three main aims:

  1. To support the work of Fair Trade Organizations in raising awareness among consumers and citizens of the importance and impact of Fair Trade, so that more people will be inspired to join and support it.
  2. To facilitate collaboration among Fair Trade Organizations by connecting their specific missions and strategies with the common philosophy of the movement, and to promote collaboration with the solidarity economy, organic agriculture movements and others that fight for similar goals to the Fair Trade movement.
  3. To enable others who work with Fair Trade Organizations (in government, academia or the private sector) to recognise the values and approaches that unite the global movement.

Putting fairness and equality first, cooperatives around the world are allowing people to create sustainable enterprises that generate long-term jobs and prosperity. That’s why we are natural partners of the International Fair Trade movement and we support the Charter defining a common vision towards achieving the SDGs”, has said the Director General of the ICA, Bruno Roelants.

In the online platform ‘Co-ops for 2030’ (, created under the ICA – EU partnership #coops4dev, there are many examples of how cooperatives are pledging to achieve SDG objectives that might serve as an inspiration to others.

The global Fair Trade movement  urges  policy-makers,  business  leaders,  citizens  and  consumers  to  embrace  the  vision  of  the  International  Fair  Trade  Charter,  to  create  a  global  trading  system  populated  by  supply  chains  and  models  of  business  that  leave  no  one  behind. 

To learn more about the International Fair Trade Charter, visit