• Update – Fair Trade International Symposium: Portsmouth 26-28 June 2018

    Fair Trade and the SDGs: Investigating the fairness of sustainable development

    Preparations for the upcoming Fair Trade International Symposium (Portsmouth Business School, Portsmouth, UK / 26-28 June 2018) are well under way.

    Abstracts: the FTIS Steering Group has decided to offer a final extension until 16 February. Please confirm with Prof Matthew Anderson (matthew.anderson@port.ac.uk) if you are planning to submit an abstract and whether you will be able to meet the 16 February deadline.

    Update: a good range of papers have been received – both academic and policy-focused research, and work is underway on a possible special issue with the Journal of Business Ethics and a book proposal with Practical Action Publishing. In addition to the discussions on papers, there will also be a number of workshops covering topics such as: research dissemination and impact; Fair Trade universities (new campaigns and award schemes); Fair Trade research consortium for collaborative grant bids. 

    More information on the conference (link to PDF): Fair Trade and the SDGs: Investigating the fairness of sustainable development

    FTIS 2018 Conference Themes:

    • SDG 1 – No poverty
    • SDG 2 – Zero hunger
    • SDG 5 – Gender equality
    • SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
    • SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities
    • SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
    • SDG 13 – Climate action
    • SDG 16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions
    • SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

  • Unmaking the Global Sweatshop

    Unmaking the Global SweatshopHealth and Safety of the World’s Garment Workers

    Rebecca Prentice and Geert De Neve, Editors

    The 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza, an eight-story garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh, killed over a thousand workers and injured hundreds more. This disaster exposed the brutal labor conditions of the global garment industry and revealed its failures as a competitive and self-regulating industry. Over the past thirty years, corporations have widely adopted labor codes on health and safety, yet too often in their working lives, garment workers across the globe encounter death, work-related injuries, and unhealthy factory environments.

    Unmaking the Global Sweatshop gathers the work of leading anthropologists and ethnographers studying the global garment industry to examine the relationship between the politics of labor and initiatives to protect workers’ health and safety.


    Read more (link to PDF)



    Conference title: Fair Trade and the SDGs: Investigating the fairness of sustainable development

    Conference date: 26 – 28 June 2018 – Venue: Portland Building, Portland Street, Portsmouth, PO1 3AH.

    « Fair Trade is an example of the active and inclusive partnerships we need in our pursuit of the SDGs. Fair Trade promotes sustainable and equitable production and consumption patterns that keep our planet healthier and our societies more inclusive.’

    Joakim Reiter, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

    The Sustainable Development Goals require the combined action of government, civil society and business in order to develop solutions to the complex challenges of poverty, inequality and climate change. Fair Trade has been recognised as a socially focussed business model that can promote and support the roadmap to a sustainable food and agriculture system (Business and Sustainable Development Commission, 2017).

    The aim of this conference is to investigate the ethics and practice of fairness that constitute the processes, goals, and indicators of sustainable development. Researchers and practitioners are encouraged to use the SDGs as a lens to explore and assess Fair Trade’s contribution to date and potential to support a global agenda towards sustainable development.

    Continue reading… 


  • Purchasing practices and working conditions in global supply chains: Global Survey results


    The International Labour Organization (ILO) and its constituents, at the 105th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC), discussed the need to further assess working conditions deficits as well as governance issues that may hinder the achievement of decent work in global supply chains (GSCs) (ILO 2016a). Specifically, the Conference asked the ILO to “take a proactive role in generating and making accessible reliable data on decent work in GSCs” and to “carry out research … to better understand how supply chains work in practice … and what their impact is on decent work and fundamental rights” (ILC, 105th Session, Resolution concerning decent work in GSCs, ILO 2016b).

    The Inclusive Labour Markets, Labour Relations and Working Conditions branch (INWORK) took action to contribute to fill this gap by carrying out a Global Survey on purchasing practices and working conditions in collaboration with the joint Ethical Trading Initiatives (ETIs). This Global Survey was sent out between July and October of 2016 to a pool of 41,387 suppliers, provided mainly by SEDEX, but also by the ETIs. In total 1,454 suppliers from 87 countries responded to the questionnaire.

    Link to report…


  • Bangladesh Accord’s binding arbitration process scores legal win

    A unanimous decision by an arbitral tribunal in The Hague bolsters the legally-binding enforcement mechanisms of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. The ruling, announced last night, allows complaints lodged by IndustriALL and UNI against two leading fashion brands to proceed to the next stage of arbitration, where they will be judged on their merits.

    Link to main article