Creating sustainable change

How does Fairtrade relate to sustainability and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Easily!

The core tenets of the Fairtrade system are based on the values of sustainability.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are integral to Fairtrade, as the work we do is devoted to improving the lives of farmers in developing countries by facilitating fair trading relationships.  The SDGs follow the significant global success of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which lifted a billion people out of extreme poverty, drastically reduced the number of women dying in childbirth, and provided two billion people with greater access to improved sanitation. This gives us reason for hope that the new ambitious SDGs could be the approach that ends extreme poverty in our lifetime.

The significance of the goals becomes even clearer if we step back and dissect Fairtrade's mission. Fairtrade is a global system working towards sustainable trade conditions for farmers and workers. The movement harnesses businesses, traders, producers and consumers to enable the empowerment of farmers and workers in the world’s developing countries. Our ability to work within the current unequal global economic system and contribute tangible impacts for farmers, shows the integrity of the Fairtrade system and its successful stewardship of sustainable supply chains, livelihoods and the environment.

We want to make sure Fairtrade's voice on sustainability is heard at the highest levels of business, government and civic leadership so we have delivered a five point policy agenda: Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through Trade. The new Fairtrade International Global Strategy also harnesses the SDGs as key guiding principles. 

The fact that the SDGs address issues that the Fairtrade system has been actively working on for more than 25 years, means we see incredible potential for the goals to advance our positive impact on the ground. Through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals, we can highlight key areas through which Fairtrade can contribute to a fairer and more sustainable world.