Co-operative businesses and organisations are among the supporters of the new International Fairtrade Charter.
Around 250 organisations, including the International Co-operative Alliance, back the charter, which was developed by the World Fair Trade Organization and Fairtrade International in collaboration with other actors to provide a common reference document for the movement.
The Alliance’s director general, Bruno Roelants, said: “Putting fairness and equality first, co-operatives 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”.
The charter aims to support the work of Fair Trade organisations in raising awareness among consumers and citizens of the importance and impact of Fair Trade. It also seeks to facilitate collaboration within the movement, as well as with other organisations.
Furthermore, the charter was designed to raise awareness of Fair Trade within governments, academia and the private sector.
Other co-ops and co-operative organisations backing the charter include Co-operatives UK, Divine Chocolate, Coop coffees, the Co-op Group, Faecta, We Effect (formerly Swedish Co-op Center) and Cooproagro.
Fair trade terms offered by Fair Trade buyers seek to enable producers and workers to maintain a sustainable livelihood. The charter explains how Fair Trade contributes to many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by supporting artisans, farmers and workers to build democratic organisations and take control over their own future.
“Associations or co-operatives of small and family-owned businesses have always been at the heart of Fair Trade because of their role in helping marginalised and disadvantaged producers and workers improve their access to markets,” the charter reads
“Fair Trade organisations support the efforts of associations and co-operatives to build their capacity to manage successful business, develop production capabilities and strengthen access to markets.”