Mission

FTA is the leading business association of global commerce that promotes the values of international trade and sustainable supply chains. FTA represents 1,900+ retailers, importers and brands to promote and defend international trade and supports their business by providing information and practical solutions towards sustainability in the global supply chain.

History

In 1977, FTA was created in Brussels, capital of the European Union, by a handful of companies to represent the foreign trade interests of European retailers, brands and importers towards European and international institutions. Since its beginning, a central aim of FTA has been to support members to advance their international trade.

Over time, the scope of FTA has evolved to respond to the increasing expectations of all stakeholders that companies assume their responsibilities towards society. In particular, to inspire confidence that goods coming from factories and farms worldwide are sourced from supply chains where workers and the environment are respected.

In 2003, FTA created the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) to provide companies with a practical and efficient system to improve social compliance in global supply chains. In 2011, in light of the success of BSCI, FTA adopted a new governance structure and integrates sustainability into its core business. In 2014, FTA developed the Business Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI) to support companies committed to improving environmental performance in their supply chain. Today, FTA unites more than 1,900 member companies. These members reflect the diversity of the commercial sector in terms of consumer goods, turnover and country of origin. By working together and taking a common approach, our members have a greater impact than acting alone.
 



Vision

Free Trade. Sustainable Trade.

  • FTA’s vision is for a world of international trade and sustainable global supply chains.
  • To achieve this vision, our members give us the mandate to strive in their name for a liberal international framework for trade that includes the necessity of corporate responsibility
  • We believe that free trade has a vital role to play in creating jobs and prosperity in Europe and globally. We also believe that striving for sustainable supply chains is a precondition to free trade
  • In this context, FTA members strive to respect human rights and core labour standards in their international supply chains. They also strive to respect the environment in all their international operations
  • Our success is driven by the active participation of our members, who support us in developing common positions on international trade and implementing BSCI and BEPI in their global supply chain
  • With headquarters in Brussels, a strong network of National Contact Groups in 9 European countries and three representatives in supplier countries (China, India and Bangladesh), FTA is ready to serve its members worldwide