Sustainable trade

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development show how economic growth can go hand in hand with social development and environmental protection. Making trade and production more sustainable can take us a significant step closer to achieve these goals.

Production at the lowest possible cost leads to a ‘race to the bottom’ which disregards the social costs. The challenge is to turn this into a ‘race to the top’, to ensure we remain within the constraints of our ecosystems and create widely shared prosperity. The Netherlands is helping in the following ways:

  • promoting innovation and sustainable business models;
  • fostering voluntary yet binding agreements between companies and civil society organisations;
  • tightening up local and international legislation;
  • curbing illegal practices.


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Image: Solidaridad

The Solidaridad Farmer Support Programme assists 400,000 smallholders and a similar number of workers in the palm oil, soya, sugar cane, cotton and livestock farming sectors. The focus is on corporate social responsibility and fair trade.

Factsheet Sustainable trade

The Netherlands supports various activities to make trade and production more sustainable by focusing on sustainable supply chains, tackling CSR risks, greater workplace safety and agreements with companies.
For more information, download our complete factsheet: Race to the top - Sustainable trade.

More information

Do you have questions or would you like to have some more information? Contact the Sustainable Economic Development Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.