Traditionally known for supporting companies to source commodities such as bananas, coffee or cocoa on Fairtrade terms, companies are now able to work with Fairtrade on bespoke programmatic work or take advantage of Fairtrade’s expertise to gain a better understanding of their supply chains.
Fairtrade revealed the suite of innovative new ways of working with business at a high profile conference at the Crystal building in East London on October 10. The new services allow companies greater insight into where they source their raw materials while bringing enhanced benefits to farmers and producers.
By funding a programme with Fairtrade companies are able to help tackle a systemic issue to complement traditional certification. For example the Compass Group and the Co-op co-funded a Women’s Leadership School in Cote d’Ivoire training female cocoa farmers to take up leadership roles in farmer organisations and their community. Co-op is also supporting Fairtrade coffee and banana programs in Brazil and Dominican Republic as part of its commitment to sourcing Fairtrade ingredients.
Tapping into Fairtrade’s expertise allows companies to connect with farmers and workers to develop sustainability solutions. Fairtrade wants to work with business to give them a better understanding of their supply chain and the people in it helping them to reduce risk, use resources wisely and focus on sustainability issues.
The announcement comes ahead of the conference entitled: “The Future of Trade: Can it work for everyone?” The event will include high profile speakers from the world of business as well as a keynote from former Trade Minister and Managing Director of Waitrose Lord Mark Price in his first act as the new Chair of the Fairtrade Foundation. The event will also see keynote speeches from Lord Bates, Minister of State at the Department for International Development and Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business
Euan Venters, Commercial Director, the Fairtrade Foundation said:
“More companies than ever are interested in and taking responsibility for their supply chains. Issues such as child labour, climate change and transparency have been widely reported. As a result, where and how, companies source their raw materials is under intense scrutiny.
“We want to work with businesses to help them meet their responsible sourcing and sustainability goals, work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and comply with Modern Slavery legislation.
“Working with Fairtrade not only helps business understand their supply chains, address sustainability challenges, talk about the change they are effecting and convince consumers of their mission but, most importantly, brings tangible benefits to producers and their communities.”