Build Back Fairer- Civil society alliance calls for the transformation of the economy and trade system for a just and sustainable recovery.

Friday 25 September marks a number of significant milestones: the two-year anniversary of the adoption of the International Fair Trade Charter; the fifth anniversary of adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals; and the global action day #IGrowYourFood.

As we mark this years’ milestones it is clear that the outlook is bleak. Covid-19, itself a result of humanity’s destruction of nature, has exacerbated existing inequalities. The hardest hit have been the most vulnerable, including small-farmers and workers in the Global South. 

But it does not need to be this way.

A wide coalition of civil society organisations, in consultation with international partners and producer organisations across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa, have come together to demand the transformation of the economy and trade system through just and sustainable Covid-19 recovery policies.

The signatories of the statement include: IFOAM  -  Organics International, World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Fairtrade, RIPESS, CIDSE, Act Alliance EU, Social Economy Europe, Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEALL), and the International Cooperatives Alliance (ICA), with the support of the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO).

" We live today in a consumption driven and unequal world - a world where the real producers, especially the small producers and workers, have been relegated to the margins. Over the years the Organic and Fair Trade fraternities have joined hands on various occasions, to ensure that the voices and concerns of these marginalised peoples are heard, especially in public and policy dialogues. It is also our collective responsibility, as citizens of this planet earth, to enable sustained livelihoods for these peoples in the margins and ensure a better future for all.'

“Embedded in Fair Trade values and practices is the potential to transform our socio-economic structures and systems. Fair Trade addresses current global issues of inequities, discrimination, poverty and climate change.The WFTO membership of Fair Trade enterprises has demonstrated its impact in creating sustainable livelihoods and bringing social change. These enterprises place people and planet before profit. Now it is time, as economies recover and commit to 'rebuild better', for the Fair Trade community to come together and speak in a loud, common voice. For us to call upon our governments, policy makers, and other influential players to recognize the Fair Trade business model as transformative and the most relevant for our times.”

“The COVID pandemic has starkly highlighted the inequalities in the global economy  – a few companies have made huge profits, the average person is suffering, and the most vulnerable are losing their livelihoods and even their lives. Now is the time for governments and businesses to build inclusive economies that prioritize human rights, while protecting the environment. We must put our collective will towards normalizing social justice by transforming markets to be fairer and more sustainable, including for those who produce the world’s food.”