BONN/ NEW YORK – Fairtrade, the world’s most recognised label for social justice and sustainability, and B Lab, a global network of organisations dedicated to transforming the economic system through innovations like the B Corp certification, are set to announce a new partnership aimed at advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through responsible business practices, sustainable supply chains, and global corporate transparency, the two organizations confirmed today.
The partnership commits B Lab and Fairtrade to knowledge-sharing and collaborative efforts in the development of standards, advocacy, public campaigns and mobilization, as well as the joint creation of special programmes and projects in pursuit of the SDGs as the world races towards the 2030 deadline, also known as Agenda 2030.
“Fairtrade has been leading social and trade justice for almost 30 years,” said Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o, Global CEO of Fairtrade International. “We are excited that through this key partnership with B Lab we can combine our efforts to bring more businesses into the conversation and to work collaboratively to address the most pressing challenges we face as a society around climate, trade, and human rights.”
According to the United Nations, partnerships are a critical tool for attaining a greener, cleaner and more sustainable future for all. In addition, they are vital to redesigning the global economy in a sustainable and inclusive manner.
In this respect, the B Lab and Fairtrade partnership will actively pursue methods of collaboration that validate and promote the work of the organisations’ partners and stakeholders as a means of implementation for the achievement of the SDGs.
“This is a long-awaited partnership for B Lab as well as the B Corp movement,” said Andrew Kassoy, cofounder and CEO of B Lab. “When my cofounders and I first had aspirations to design the B Corp certification over 15 years ago, Fairtrade International’s certification served as both inspiration and proof that businesses could be a force for good.”
“It’s only fitting that our organisations join forces now at a time when sustainability standards for businesses are no longer recognised as just a nice to have, but as a critical tool in transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet,” Kassoy added.
Here in Australia and New Zealand, CEO of Fairtrade, Molly Harriss Olson explains why this collaboration is particularly important right now:
“We know that consumers are increasingly looking to businesses to show their commitment to ethical and sustainable practices but with this shift has come an explosion of green and fair-washing. To combat this, it’s really important for organisations that are impactful and robust like Fairtrade and B-Corp to work together to strengthen the social fabric of society,” she says.
B Lab’s social and environmental business standards define how businesses can be a force for good. Based on stakeholder input, research, and established best practices, these standards are the basis for B Corp Certification requirements as well as B Lab’s impact management tools. For its part, Fairtrade Standards are designed to support the sustainable development of small producer organizations and agricultural workers in developing countries. The Fairtrade Standards incorporate a holistic blend of social, economic and environmental criteria. By choosing both B Corp and Fairtrade certifications, businesses demonstrate their sustainability and social impact commitments to and through their entire supply chain.
The new B Lab and Fairtrade partnership will kick off with an exploration of potential collaboration around standards development and creating touchpoints for relationship building between both organisations’ respective networks.
“As both a Certified B Corporation and a company that sources Fairtrade-certified ingredients, we know firsthand the impact that these standards have in ensuring small-scale farmers, as well as all of a company’s stakeholders — workers, customers, communities, and the environment — are getting their fair share,” said Cheryl Pinto, Global Values Led Sourcing Manager at Ben & Jerry’s.
“This partnership will grow momentum in supporting companies with the foundation, tools, guidance, and community support to be more sustainable and socially impactful businesses.”
For interview opportunities with Fairtrade’s Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o and B Lab’s Andrew Kassoy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About B Lab
B Lab is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. A leader in economic systems change, our global network creates standards, policies, tools, and programs for business, and we certify companies—known as B Corps—who are leading the way. To date, our community includes 280,000 workers in over 4,000 B Corps across 77 countries and 153 industries, and more than 150,000 companies manage their impact with the B Impact Assessment and the SDG Action Manager. To learn more and join the movement, visit www.bcorporation.net.
Fairtrade changes the way trade works by putting farmers and workers first. That means better prices, decent working conditions and more trade power for small-scale producers. Leading by example, Fairtrade has producers represented in 50% of its governance. Fairtrade International is an independent non-profit organisation representing 1.8 million farmers and workers worldwide. It owns the FAIRTRADE Mark, a registered trademark appearing on more than 30,000 products, which is the most recognized and trusted sustainability label in the world. Fairtrade International and its member organizations collaborate with businesses, engage shoppers, activate civil society, and enable producers to take control in order to bring about a fair, sustainable future — a future rooted in social justice. Find out more at fairtradeanz.org