25 September, 2018

A week of celebration

Martial Quintero
by Ian Brown, Fairtrade Canada

It’s a busy and exciting week for us here at Fairtrade Canada, with the launch of the International Fair Trade Charter, the third anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the sixth annual Fair Trade Campus Week, and the first ever Gender Equality Week.

Image above shows Martial Quintero, a Fairtrade sugar farmer in Panama, with his wife Elvia, their two daughters and two granddaughters. They were able to extend their house using payments from the Fairtrade Premium. Photograph by Eduardo Martino.

International Fair Trade Charter

The launch of the International Fair Trade Charter brings together different voices within the fair trade movement to work together to transform the world economy into a fairer system, in order to achieve justice, equity and sustainability for farmers, workers and the environment.  

Conventional models of business, finance and trade put profit before people and planet. This results in spiraling inequality, a declining share of value for farmers and workers, entrenched poverty, and a planet stretched beyond its limits. Hundreds of millions of people in the Global South are being left behind by current economic models, unequal growth and the spoils of the global economy not being fairly shared.

There is another way! The new Charter is our vision for a solution, using a dual approach of certification and transforming the models of trade so they spread value, power and voice.

The fair trade movement is already showing this is possible: fair trade businesses are thriving in Canada and around the world; consumers are demanding ethically-sourced and certified products; companies of all shapes and sizes are buying raw materials on more equitable terms.

The global Fairtrade system, represented in our country by Fairtrade Canada, is proud to be part of the new International Fair Trade Charter. Learn more here.

Sustainable Development Goals – Third Anniversary

The launch of the Charter on September 25th coincides with the third anniversary of the UN’s adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, which are intended to transform our world – to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. The Goals heavily influenced the creation of the Charter because so many of them are closely connected with our shared vision of improving the lives of people in the Global South as well as protecting the planet. Follow along with our blog series exploring the links between Fairtrade and the SDGs, and view our video from Julie Francoeur, our executive director, celebrating the Charter and the anniversary.



This week is our sixth annual Fair Trade Campus Week, which sees more than 70 campuses across Canada celebrating the fair trade movement with student-led educational activities, product demonstrations, giveaways and much more. Campus Week is our registered SDG action for the #ACT4SDGs global celebration linked to the anniversary. Register your own SDG action here.

Gender Equality Week

Finally, this week is also Canada’s first Gender Equality Week, with the theme of Gender equality benefits everyone. This was inspired by the vision of a gender equal society and the benefits of advancing gender equality to women, men and people of all gender identities. This ties closely in with SDG number 5 - achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, which Julie Francoeur wrote about in March.

It is inspiring to see so many movements for change strengthened by the work of dedicated individuals determined to make a positive impact for all global citizens. In a time where the world seems in so much turmoil we remain steadfast and optimistic in our push towards a brighter future.

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