Jeffrey Sachs and Fairtrade: globalisation and the COVID-19 economic recovery

Now more than ever, Fairtrade is committed to advancing sustainable development and building a fairer, healthier and more resilient world.

As trillions of dollars in fiscal stimulus flow through the global economy in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we can set a new course towards inclusive and sustainable growth.

World-renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs

Recently we held an event for our licensees and partners on this very topic, with keynote speaker Jeffrey Sachs. The event’s focus: ‘Globalisation and the COVID-19 Economic Recovery’. We hosted this event in partnership with Global Compact Network Australia and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Australia, New Zealand & Pacific

Welcoming Jeffrey Sachs to our event was a highlight for Fairtrade.

He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders and ranked by The Economist among the three most influential living economists. But the work he’s done to progress a sustainable future for all is what really does it for us. He is a leading expert on inclusive economic development and trade, a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocate and President of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Recently appointed to head The Lancet COVID-19 Commission and economic recovery, Jeffrey offers unparalleled insight into the role of trade and the SDGs in the COVID-19 recovery.

We were grateful to Sachs for sharing his insights and you can watch the full event on our YouTube channel.

Sachs’s talk clearly demonstrates the need to build back better with a focus on sustainable economic growth and the SDGs, and how business can contribute to this. 

A road to recovery for all

Charting a course out of the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression presents immense challenges. It also offers considerable opportunities for a more sustainable future. 

With a coordinated and collaborative response, we can enhance sustainability, ensure a resilient future and secure the health and wellbeing of current and future generations so that no one is left behind. We can all be a part of this.

Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, the Global Compact Network Australia and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Australia, New Zealand & Pacific have identified five critical outcomes on the road to recovery:

  1. Achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 through ambitious action
  2. Develop coherent policies and market mechanisms that support innovation and move Australia to net zero emissions before 2050
  3. Champion multilateral and regional partnerships that drive economic recovery, build environmental resilience and enhance regional outcomes
  4. Invest in fair, transparent and more inclusive trade
  5. Reduce structural inequalities to protect and support the most vulnerable.

Read the full Five Point Plan, Five Critical Outcomes on the Road to Recovery.

Fairtrade into the future

As we recover from the pandemic, our economic structures must support trade that is fair,

transparent and inclusive. This crisis shows the critical role that business plays in supporting our food security and the long-term resilience of our supply chains. It also demonstrates the purchasing power of consumers – we all have an important role to play.

Five point plan stat

“COVID-19 has threatened to erode 30 years of progress in our fight against global poverty. Trade can either support developing countries on the road to recovery, or it can drive an estimated 580 million people into poverty.” 

“We have a globally-scaled system that is already empowering millions of farmers and workers around the world by tackling poverty and poor working conditions, and conserving the environment. That system is Fairtrade,” said Molly Harriss Olson, Chief Executive Officer, Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand.

How can you get involved?

If you are a business interested in becoming Fairtrade certified, get in touch and find out more.

If you are a consumer, look for the Fairtrade Mark and let your friends know why it’s important to you too. Your small conversations and purchasing decisions are changing lives for farmers and workers. Find out where to buy Fairtrade.

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