Thursday, July 25, 2024

Why the future of trade must be fair

World Fair Trade Day this month emphasises that buying Fairtrade means you’re helping to combat serious global issues, many of which share a single root cause: extreme poverty.

Fairtrade certification offers hope and the promise of change. It gives farmers and workers a better income and the power to make their own choices.

All the global issues Fairtrade addresses are interconnected: poverty, gender inequality, climate change and its impact, and unfair trade and working conditions.

Fairtrade Australia New Zealand’s ‘Strategic Plan 2020-2025’ is driven by its commitment to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, particularly the eight that have been

identified at the heart of Fairtrade ANZ. They are:

  • No poverty. Farmers and workers will make strong progress towards a living income and living wages.
  • Zero hunger. Farmers and workers earning a dignified income or wage will be better able to provide for their families.
  • Gender equality. A push for equity will result in increased opportunities and representation for women.
  • Decent work and economic growth. All workers will enjoy decent working conditions and exercise their rights freely.
  • Industry, innovation and infrastructure. Supply chains will be fully traceable and transparent.
  • Responsible consumption and production. Consumers, producers and advocates will push for social and climate justice.
  • Climate action. Farmers and workers will apply environmentally sustainable practices as they adapt to a changing climate.
  • Fairtrade will leverage commercial and civil society relationships to co-create new pathways towards impact.

Farmers in developing countries are some of the most marginalised people in the world, despite producing food that most of us consume every day. They’re also the people being most affected by climate change, even though they’re generally the least responsible for causing it. The Fairtrade system is trying to address this inequity. Most consumers want to be part of the solution, not the problem. Buying Fairtrade is one way they can do this.

“Ultimately, if more people support Fairtrade products, like chocolate, coffee, flowers and cotton, then whole communities benefit,” Fairtrade Australia New Zealand CEO Molly Harriss Olson told Retail World. “We’re here to tell you that small decisions can make a big difference.

“My hopes are that more and more people will recognise the Fairtrade mark and reward the businesses that choose to be part of the most robust ethical trade system in the world.

“I want to see trade transformed so that consumer choices are truly benefiting people and the planet.”

Read the feature in full in the May issue of Retail World.

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