SDG 13 on climate change: how is Fair Trade contributing to this global goal?
Alice Sinigaglia, Fair Trade Advocacy Office – FTAO
Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) è una ONG, con sede a Bruxelles, che si occupa di migliorare le condizioni di vita e di lavoro dei produttori del Sud. Al termine dello scorso anno, l’organizzazione ha elaborato un toolkit, rivolto alle autorità locali e ai policy maker, in modo da guidarli nella realizzazione di nuove politiche pubbliche mirate alla realizzazione dell’Agenda 2030, e tali da incorporare al loro interno i principi del Fair Trade.
Definition of Fair Trade FTAO
“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, 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.” (Definition of Fair Trade, Charter of Fair Trade Principles)
Fair Trade and the 2030 Agenda
One year ago, on 25 September 2015, world leaders jointly adopted very ambitious development commitments: the UN 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This agenda calls on governments, the private sector, international institutions, civil society, and all other stakeholders to work together to end poverty ‘in all its forms, everywhere’.
By promoting sustainable and equitable production and consumption patterns, Fair Trade can act as an important catalyst to the change we need to achieve these ambitious commitments. In particular, Fair Trade can play a key role in ending poverty and hunger (SDG 1 and SDG 2), promoting both gender equality (SDG 5) and decent working conditions (SDG 8), and reducing inequalities (SDG 10). Moreover, Fair Trade’s role is crucial to promoting responsible consumption and production patterns (SDG 12), and creating partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17).
How Fair Trade can address climate change
Last but not least, Fair Trade addresses climate change (SDG 13) by supporting:
- Livelihoods: Fair Trade farmers and producers are paid an amount that aims to cover the costs of sustainable production
- climate change mitigation: Fair Trade actors adhere to core environmental standards
- climate change adaptation: Fair Trade relationships assist producer organisations to develop knowledge, skills and resources to adapt to climate change
All parties to Fair Trade relationships collaborate on continual improvement on the environmental impact of production and trade through efficient use of the raw materials from sustainable sources, reducing use of energy from sustainable sources, reducing use of energy from non-renewable sources, and improving waste management. The adoption of organic production processes in agriculture is also encouraged.
Therefore, more and more Local Authorities, as well as companies and citizens themselves, are recognising Fair Trade as a means of assuring compliance with key standards and values, such as the protection of the environment. This is particularly applicable for consumer products for which significant volumes or value of which is sourced from countries where there is either low enforcement or no actual laws on environmental protection, as well as on human, labour and land rights.
Localising the SDGs through Fair Trade
To provide Local Authorities with concrete ideas on how they can partner with Fair Trade to achieve sustainable development, the Fair Trade Advocacy Office developed the toolkit “Localising the Sustainable Development Goals through Fair Trade”. The document provides policy makers not only with recommendations, but also with examples of good practice on how they can contribute to the 2030 Agenda through Fair Trade.
By partnering with the Fair Trade movement, Local Authorities can use their public procurement policies to promote sustainable consumption patterns. They can also organize or support awareness raising, networking and/or capacity building activities to help businesses, in particular SMEs, switch to sustainable production patterns and meet the increasing global demand for sustainable products. Finally, they can also help raise the visibility of sustainable products among consumers and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and examples of good practice among companies committed to sustainable development.
Given the key role of Local Authorities to deliver environmental, social and economic development, this toolkit is a way for the Fair Trade movement to strengthen the partnership with local policy makers in order to jointly contribute to sustainable development. Through the Fair Trade Town Campaign, more than 1800 Local Authorities are already committed to Fair Trade and we hope that the 2030 Agenda will encourage even more towns and cities to partner with the Fair Trade movement to deliver innovative policies in support of sustainable development.
Alice Sinigaglia is Project Coordinator at the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO), in
FTAO speaks out for Fair Trade and Trade Justice with the aim to improve the livelihoods of marginalised producers and workers in the South. The FTAO is a joint initiative of Fairtrade International, the World Fair Trade Organization-Global and the World Fair Trade Organization-Europe.
For further information, please visit the FTAO website: www.fairtrade-advocacy.org