How Fair Trade principles are crucial in achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals #globalgoals
3rd October 2015
On 25th September 2015, 193 world leaders adopted a set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda.
Each of the 17 Global Goals aims to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty. Fight inequality & injustice. Fix climate change
At the heart of the Sustainable Development Agenda is the call to action for everyone to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society leaders and individuals around the world.
Following on from the huge success of the 9th International Fairtrade Towns Conference, Bristol Fairtrade Network, Bristol Green Capital Partnership & Love the Future have been working together to raise awareness of the links between Fairtrade and Sustainability. A video commission for the conference asked ‘How Green is Fairtrade?‘ and after the conference, inspired by Bristol’s degree of collaboration and partnerships, 72% of the delegates said that they will use the information they learnt at the Conference to connect with local sustainability groups in their own towns and cities.
How Fair Trade principles are crucial in achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals
To coincide with the launch of the 17 Global Goals, we invited Fair Trade and Sustainability campaigners to join us online to raise awareness of how crucial Fair Trade principles are in achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals.
Jenny Foster, Bristol Southwest Fairtrade Coordinator explained:
“Fairtrade is a brilliant anti-poverty tool that promotes sustainable food production and environmental protection in the developing world. When you look at the Sustainable Development Goals, Fairtrade clearly helps meet:
- Goal 2: Zero Hunger – to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
- Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth – to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities – to reduce inequality within and among countries (reduce inequalities)
- Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production – to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns(ensure sustainable production and consumption)
- Goal 16: Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions – to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals – to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Fair Trade for Climate Action
Goal 13: Climate Action sets targets that require urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. By 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals hope to achieve strengthened resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries, to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning, and to improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
Environmental protection is a key element of Fair Trade’s view of sustainability, and Fair Trade’s work on improving environmental protection and climate change adaptation helps to deliver this goal. Fair Trade Standards prohibit the use of certain agrochemicals and focus on reducing the use of pesticides, ensure that farms are free from hazardous waste and are using water sustainably, and encourage activities to enhance biodiversity. Fair Trade standards also promote training for farmers, which can include advice on switching to environmentally friendly practices, such as developing nutrient-rich soils that support healthy plants and encouraging wildlife to help control pests and diseases.
Beyond the Standards, the Fairtrade Premium is used to fund a range of projects and training that promotes environmental sustainability. For example, converting to organic production, which can be challenging for farmers because of the extra costs involved, but may mean earning a higher price for their crop and becoming more resilient to environmental shocks.
How Fair Trade can help to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
In his blog ‘The Malnourished Are Outnumbered by the Obese‘, Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation argues that the Sustainable Development Goals are an unprecedented opportunity to reform the structures and power dynamics that keep people in poverty, particularly in the area of trade.
” ‘Goal 12 – ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns’ — sounds obvious, but its inclusion recognizes just how unbalanced production and consumption have become. Two billion people depend on agriculture for a living, but still half the world’s hungry are farmers. Our food system is badly out of balance: consumers in richer countries expect ever cheaper food, yet we throw away one-third of all the food we buy. The connection between value and price has been broken — in the U.K., we pay less for our food than ever before. There are more than 700 million malnourished people in the world, but now they are outnumbered by the obese. There is widespread use of agro-chemicals with little thought to the future ecosystem. What can be done to turn this around?
For more than 25 years, the Fairtrade movement has sought to address these challenges in the belief that trade — if done differently — can reduce poverty and boost sustainable development. The growth of Fairtrade is testament to how far these ideas have gained public and commercial support: more than 1.5 million farmers and workers in 70 countries now benefit from the clear terms of trade — including a minimum price — and commitment to social and environmental welfare at the heart of Fairtrade standards. The global Fairtrade market is now worth $6bn annually.”