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Who are we?

The Foreign Trade Association (FTA) is Europe’s premier association for trade policy and global supply chains. FTA brings together over 1,200 retailers, importers, brand companies, and national associations to improve the political and legal framework for trade. Our members reflect the diversity of the retail sector in term of consumer goods, turnover and country of origin. By working together and taking a common approach, our members can have a greater impact than acting alone.

We work with key interlocutors in Brussels, Geneva, member states and supplier countries to provide our members with the latest information, offer expert legal advice on international trade issues, provide unique platforms to share best practices and house an excellent social compliance system.

FTA was created in 1977 to represent the foreign trade interests of European retailers and importers towards European and International institutions. Over time, the scope of FTA has developed. In 2003, the 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 the BSCI, the FTA has adopted a new governance structure and integrates sustainability into its core business. In 2013, the FTA will develop the Business Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI) to support companies committed to improving environmental production conditions in their supply chain.

The FTA vision is “Free trade. Sustainable trade“. 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. Our success is driven by the active participation of our members who support us in developing common positions on trade and implementing the BSCI in their global supply chain. With headquarters in Brussels, a strong network of National Contact Groups in six European countries and three representatives in supplier countries (China, India, Bangladesh), the FTA is ready to serve its members worldwide.

For more information about the FTA, please download the FTA flyer.