Building Fairer Economies: one year of the International Fair Trade Charter

25 Sep 2019

On the 25th of September, the Fair Trade Movement commemorates the first anniversary of the International Fair Trade Charter. The Charter was launched in 2018 and has been recognized by over 450 organisations and networks so far. As one of the early supporters of the Charter, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is delighted to celebrate this milestone with the Fair Trade Movement.

ICA’s signing of the International Fair Trade Charter was another step in the collaboration between Fair Trade and the Cooperative Movement. Because of their shared values, the two movements are natural partners in advocating for a people-centred business model. They agree that only a private sector that puts people and not capital at the core of its business can achieve sustainable development, spur inclusive growth alleviating poverty, lead to sustainable economies and societies that leave no one behind.

The Charter reflects this close alignment of the Fair Trade vision and the 7 Cooperative Principles. Decent work, democratic decision-making and the empowerment of vulnerable groups, including women are fundamental aspects of both the Charter and the Cooperative Identity. The Charter also credits cooperatives with helping disadvantaged producers and workers improve their access to markets.

The first anniversary of the Charter coincides with the UN summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) taking place on the 24 and 25 September 2019. The SDGs have created new opportunities for cooperatives and Fair Trade Organisations to join forces and champion people-centred business as a way towards achieving the SDGs.

"One year ago, we had the opportunity to show our support to the Fair Trade Movement by signing the International Fair Trade Charter and validate our common path towards fairer economies that put people first before profit. Today, we continue looking forward to working together for just economies and sustainable communities for all." says the Director General of the ICA, Bruno Roelants.


Photo©: International Fair Trade Charter / Dr Bronner´s