Aidenvironment report: Fairness in trade matters for sustainability: An impact evaluation of Fairtrade’s supply chain interventions (2017)

Packing flowers, Kenya © Ola Höiden for Fairtrade

This paper, commissioned by the Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Deutschland, assesses the extent to which Fairtrade, through its supply chain interventions in tea, cocoa, bananas and flowers, improves fairness in trade including the impact on producers and workers. The focus is on Fairtrade’s supply chain interventions including the Fairtrade Standards, Fairtrade Minimum Price, Fairtrade Premium, Producer Support and Fairtrade’s company engagement activities. Findings are based on interviews, surveys and focus groups with companies and individuals throughout the supply chain, from producers and workers upstream to retailers and brands downstream.

Top level findings on Fairtrade’s impact on fairness in the value chain include:

  • “The quality of trading relationships can have a direct influence on a producer’s capacity to invest in sustainability…These findings justify Fairtrade’s emphasis on trade aspects.”
  • “Fairtrade is one of the few sustainability initiatives addressing fairness in trade. Its supply chain interventions do –to some extent, and upstream in the supply chain –positively influence capacity to trade and the awareness of good trading practices, increased transparency and safeguards for suppliers.”

However it also finds that other factors and actors are key to these issues:

  • “Fairness in trade is mainly determined by market dynamics and public policy. Fairtrade has insufficient leverage to influence these alone.”
  • “The link between fairness in trade and sustainability for producers and workers requires more attention from companies, sustainability initiatives and public sector.”

To read the full report click here

For the response from the commissioning agencies, click here

Posted on 12/12/2017