Fair Trade: justice and sustainability for people and the planet

Publication date: 10 March 2022
Author: Oxfam International Fair Trade Working Group

Oxfam has been part of the global Fair Trade movement since its inception. Today, it still inspires many of our volunteers to champion just and sustainable trade. Together, we reach out to small-scale producers, workers, and grassroots social entrepreneurs. We partner with activists, communities, democratically governed producer organizations, mission-driven enterprises, and social movements to establish ethical trade approaches and advocate for a more just trade system.

We believe the current trade system is far from just or sustainable. It was captured by imperialistic and colonialist forces in the past and remains, even today, under the control of the powerful and the rich to a large extent. Trade justice offers an alternative approach: one that requires shared responsibility according to everyone’s capabilities and considers (historical) privileges, as well as systemic change in the economic, gender, climate and political realms. As long as it excludes people and future generations from its welfare-creating properties, trade cannot be considered just or sustainable.