Monday, 3 October 2016 | Joanna
Fair trade is all about collaboration. In fact the first definition of fair trade included a requirement for all fair trade goods to be produced under a co-operative system.
Even now well known fair trade brands like Divine chocolate use cocoa produced by Kuapa Kokoo in Ghana which is a co-operative with 83,000 member farmers.
Collaboration is at the heart of the Fairtrade Towns movement - it requires collaboration between local councils, businesses, schools and community groups to promote the local consumption of Fairtrade goods. This is one of the biggest grassroots campaigning movements in the UK and is growing across the rest of the world.
So it's really important that where we see connections we strengthen them. Ethical Consumer has been working for over 20 years to bring together the fields of fair trade, environmentally and eco-friendly choices and now the Fair Tax mark which rewards those businesses which pay the required amount of corporation tax. It's important that ethical businesses interact with each other and fairness in one area is often an indicator of fairness in other areas. For example the tenth WFTO Principle of Fair Trade requires Respect for the Environment.
We can work together to tackle multinationals' claims to corporate social responsibility which may turn out to be "greenwash" and to hold companies to account for their actions across the world where governments are not able to enforce good practice. Traidcraft's campaign Justice Matters is working to bring companies to account.
Together we can make a difference - and it's always great to collaborate with others to change the world.