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UNIDO and Fairtrade International forge partnership for sustainable supply chains

10 December 2023

Fairtrade MoU

DUBAI – Despite being crucial for inclusive and sustainable industrial development, global supply chains still feature widespread human rights and environmental sustainability shortcomings. Workers and small-scale producers, especially women and young people, often face hazardous working conditions and low wages and incomes.

Demonstrating a firm commitment to fostering sustainable supply chains, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Fairtrade International inked a new Joint Declaration at the COP28. The declaration, signed by Gunther Beger, Managing Director of UNIDO, and Sandra Uwera Murasa, Global CEO of Fairtrade International, marks a promising step in addressing the growing challenges facing global supply chains.

In the declaration, UNIDO and Fairtrade emphasize their shared commitment to promoting sustainable supply chains and enhancing the value addition of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), smallholder farmers and workers. The partnership will prioritize supporting suppliers in producer countries in key areas such as market access, impact investment, corporate sustainability, the implementation of human rights and environmental due diligence - including technical support to transition to agroecology and build climate resilience.

“This partnership comes at a crucial time for producers facing growing pressure from legislative measures while their costs of sustainable production are escalating, together with climate risks affecting their production and profitability,” said Sandra Uwera Murasa, Global CEO of Fairtrade International.

The Joint Declaration underscores the parties' intent to collect and share best practices in order to fortify the resilience and sustainability of global supply chains. UNIDO and Fairtrade aim to jointly raise awareness of the critical issues and engage in new projects, offering tailored assistance to producers and other relevant stakeholders in global supply chains.

“Addressing the challenge of making supply chains more sustainable requires strengthened cooperation among all actors and an increased commitment to support producers, particularly at the beginning of the supply chain. UNIDO and Fairtrade are building a coalition of partners dedicated to these shared goals,” emphasized Gunther Beger, Managing Director of UNIDO. 

In this vein, the declaration highlights the need for collaboration and for an inclusive process, developed with SMEs, farmers and workers, as well as other relevant public and private stakeholders, to equitably share the burden and benefits of the sustainable transition in global supply chains.


For more information on the partnership, please contact:

Stefan Pahl, UNIDO

Kelly Hawrylyshyn, Fairtrade International