Fair Trade Movement

The Fair Trade movement is a global social movement whose pioneering experiences began in the late 1940s and which seeks to promote responsible and sustainable production and trade patterns, as well as development opportunities for small farmers, growers and artisans who are economically and socially disadvantaged in relation to the dominant players in the market.

CLAC is part of the Fairtrade system and supports more than a thousand Fairtrade certified organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, CLAC is part of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), an organization with which CLAC works together in the Fair Trade Towns campaign in the region.

Currently there are several certifications, seals and organizations that promote Fair Trade globally. Along with Fairtrade, there are the WFTO certifications and the Small Producers’ Symbol (SPP).

Each certification has its own standards, but all have in common that they seek better market conditions for small producers, artisans, and agricultural workers.

There is also the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO), which advocates on behalf of the Fair Trade movement and promotes trade justice to improve the livelihoods of producers and workers in the global south. The FTAO is a joint effort of Fairtrade International, WFTO and the European Fair Trade Organization. The FTAO was born in 2004 as an informal cooperation mechanism between Fair Trade networks and was legally constituted as an independent foundation in 2010. The FTAO has a clear mandate to advocate for European Union policies to promote Fair Trade and Trade Justice.

The International Fair Trade Charter

The International Fair Trade Charter provides a general explanation of the vision and shared values of the Global Fair Trade movement. It has three main objectives:

– To support the work of Fair Trade Organizations to raise awareness among consumers and citizens about the importance and impact of Fair Trade, so that more people are inspired to join and support it.

– To facilitate collaboration among Fair Trade Organizations by connecting their specific missions and strategies to the common philosophy of the movement, and to promote collaboration with solidarity economy, organic agriculture movements and others who strive for similar goals to the Fair Trade movement.

– To enable others working with Fair Trade Organizations (in government, academia, or the private sector) to recognize the values and approaches that unite the global movement.

Download the International Fair Trade Charter


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