Rising inequality, entrenched poverty and a deepening ecological crisis have led the global community to seek new models of business and trade that drive fair and sustainable economies.
The new International Fair Trade Charter that has emerged enshrines the common vision and fundamental values of the Fair Trade movement to put the world on the path to realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Established by organisations from across the movement, the Fair Trade Charter defines a unified vision of building a better future for people and planet. The Charter serves as the single international reference point for Fair Trade.
On its website, the organization said, “Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalised producers and workers – especially in the South.’’
Fair Trade Organisations have a seeming clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.
Driving the global lobby are the main Fair Trade networks- the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO), Fairtrade International and European Fair Trade Association.
Fair Trade organisations, also known as Fair Trade Enterprises, are recognised by the WFTO, which are boasting that fair trade is more than just trading. According to them, ‘’it is a vision of business and trade that put people and planet before profit. It fights poverty, climate change, gender inequality and injustice. Is a proof of concept that showcases the enterprise models of the new economy.’’
In the meantime, Fair Trade is inspiring millions and proving a better world is possible. ‘’We are a global community of businesses that exist to put people and planet first. We are campaigners and activists fighting for change. Our movement is farming and weaving, marching and lobbying, teaching and trading, to take our vision forward.’’
WFTO was, however, born in 1989, but the pioneers who founded it go as far back as the 1940s. Today, their vision and values transcend the WFTO community and the broader Fair Trade and social enterprise movements.