The Fair Trade Movement

11 Oct 2023

Fair Trade Movement Achieves Sustainability Integration in Competition Law

The Fair Trade movement successfully merged sustainability with Competition Law, eliminating ambiguity that hindered progress. With the updated guidelines, businesses can pursue sustainability goals more effectively, fostering a future where economic success aligns with social and environmental responsibility. This journey began in 2014 with a report in the Netherlands commissioned by the Fair Trade Advocacy Office. Multi-stakeholder discussions revealed EU Competition Law was perceived as a hindrance to sustainability agreements.

Could EU Competition Law Support Sustainability?

EU Competition Law must not hinder legitimate sustainability goals. The Fair Trade movement aims to encourage businesses pursuing sustainability, acknowledging that multi-stakeholder cooperation complements EU sustainability legislation. This approach favors cooperation over unilateral action, as sustainability initiatives often increase costs and risk customer loss in price-sensitive markets with little product differentiation.

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