Fairtrade manifesto – Next UK Government trade policy must work for people and planet

The Fairtrade Foundation has launched a manifesto, calling on the next UK government to build fairness and resilience for producers and consumers.

Alexander Carnwath, Head of Public Affairs at the Fairtrade Foundation said:

“It’s just over a week before the UK public head to the polls, and it’s crucial that following the election, the next government builds a fairer and more resilient trade system that works better for both UK consumers and those who produce much of our food in low-income countries.

“The UK imports almost half its food, with 16 per cent coming from countries exposed to climate change and lacking the capacity to adapt and respond. In recent years, we’ve seen how global events can have a massive impact on UK food supplies, with the cost of some of our favourite food products soaring and increasingly difficult conditions for farmers overseas. We urgently need to invest for the future, building fair and strong trading partnerships, with businesses working for people and planet, that will ensure the ongoing availability of our food in the face of a changing climate.

“The next UK government – whichever party or parties make it up – should commit to publishing a trade strategy that addresses the key links between trade, development and environmental sustainability and supports the UK to meet objectives across all three. It should also address UK competition law to provide support for innovations in the area of pre-competitive collaboration between businesses, through initiatives such as Fairtrade’s Shared Impact, to support environmental and development objectives.”

The Fairtrade Foundation election manifesto has three key asks:

Develop trade policy that works for people and planet. These policies must improve resilience for the small holder farmers and workers producing food overseas, and support innovative business approaches to enhance environmental and social sustainability.

Legislate to ensure responsible business. The legislation must ensure that businesses address human rights and environmental violations in supply chains, including deforestation, while taking full account of the needs of farmers and workers.

Strengthen UK aid by responding to the needs and priorities of farmers and workers who make a crucial contribution to the global food system.

The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent charity and does not endorse any political party or candidate.


Notes to editors

Alexander Carnwath, Fairtrade Foundation’s Head of Public Affairs, is available for broadcast interviews.

For media enquiries please contact: Laura Ouseley +44(0)7909 875 956 laura.ouseley@fairtrade.org.uk or media@fairtrade.org.uk

About Fairtrade

Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions, and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in low-income countries.