International Fair Trade Charter Defines Vision for a Fairer World

Many people use the term “fair trade,” but what does it actually mean? Today, more than 300 organizations around the world are uniting to launch an International Fair Trade Charterthat harmonizes the fundamental values of fair trade and defines our common vision towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Business as usual will not deliver the step change needed to meet the SDGs, adopted by the world’s nations on September 25, 2015 and whose third anniversary is being marked today in New York and around the world.

The International Fair Trade Charter, initiated by Fairtrade International and the World Fair Trade Organization, defines new models that build a stronger economy and environment for all. The Charter has been recognized by diverse local, national and international organizations from across the cooperative, social enterprise, organic, farmer, and global solidarity movements.

Regarding the launch of the Charter, the Fair Trade Federation’s Executive Director Chris Solt stated, “The Fair Trade Federation (FTF), the trade association representing over 200 fair trade enterprises in the U.S. and Canada, enthusiastically joins in solidarity with the larger fair trade movement to support, promote, and endorse an updated and revised International Fair Trade Charter. The new Charter refreshes the vision of fair trade, proposing solutions and a viable alternative to a global economy that is driving inequality, poverty, and ecological crisis. The FTF also endorses a shared vision of a world in which justice, equity, and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood.”

The global fair trade movement urges policy-makers and business leaders, citizens and consumers to embrace the vision of the International Fair Trade Charter to create a global trading system populated by supply chains and models of business that leave no one behind. By supporting fair trade producers and businesses, advocating to transform the rules of global trade, and buying fair trade products, we can all act to make sustainable and fair development a reality and give the world a fighting chance at reaching the goals we set for ourselves.

For more information, to show your support, or for a copy of the International Fair Trade Charter, visit

Reprinted with permission from The Fair Trade Federation 

Rachel-L-SpenceRachel L. Spence ( is the Fair Trade Federation’s Engagement Manager, responsible for communications, public engagement, and advocacy for fair trade principles and practices.