About

Who we are. CFTNThe Canadian Fair Trade Network is a national non-profit organization that works to engage Canadians on the impacts of our every day decisions.
 
Vision. Our end goal is a fair, sustainable world.
 
The world and our work. The products that we purchase, the companies that we purchase from, how we invest and spend our money all have impacts on the world around us. As an organization, we work with people, advocates, businesses and our public institutions and governments to ensure those decisions have positive impacts on the world; where buying fair trade products is a way to ensure farmers, producers, and workers are compensated fairly, treated with respect and can produce their products in an environmentally sustainable way. Our work is in Canada, while the impacts of it are often felt around the world, as global supply chains extend from Africa to Asia to Latin America.
 
The problem as we see it. Fair trade has been around for some time now, but it has not yet realized its full potential. Producers are doing their part, as there are millions of producers, and an abundance of products that meet fair trade standards; the issue is demand. For example, of all the fair trade coffee being produced in the world, only a fraction of it gets sold as fair trade, the rest is sold off to conventional buyers, where fair prices or a fair trade premium is not being paid. This practice limits impact, as the full benefit of fair trade is not being seen. And coffee practices are the most effective, it is worse in other commodities such as cocoa, or tea, where only a fraction of product being produced as fair trade, is being sold under fair trade conditions.
 
The opportunity. Our work to date has centered on building demand, and increasing sales of fair trade products to ensure that producers see the full benefit of doing things differently. By increasing sales, and shifting our buying behaviors, money is shifted away from what can often be exploitive supply chains, to sustainable, empowering ones. We can therefore drive change around the world, through our purchases. We can shift power dynamics, and we can enable and empower people, through co-operatives, to support their families and their communities.
 
Our goals - our 4 pillars:
  1. Ensure that a robust, engaged, grass roots movement drives fair trade
  2. Ensure that fair trade expands with integrity
  3. Ensure that there is a strong and thriving fair trade business sector in canada
  4. Develop and drive a vision for a sustainable world
Read our strategic framework, learn more, be in touch. Download the PDF
 

Tie into a wider world:
  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) officially known as Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are a set of seventeen aspirational "Global Goals". The SDGs were in large measure informed by the oft quoted assertion by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that "there can be no Plan B, because there is no Planet B.
    • Fair Trade Ties to: SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (decent work), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 13 (climate change), SDG 16 (peace and justice), SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals). Learn more.
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10th, 1948. The Declaration represents the first global expression of what many people believe to be the rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. There are numerous ties between fair trade and human rights.
  • The Paris Climate Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions, mitigation, adaptation and finance. Fair trade focuses on sustainable agriculture, soil and environmental health; the ties are natural.