Altromercato is the largest fair trade organization in Italy and in 2013 it celebrates 25 years of commitment in the fair trade business and in its values.
Altromercato is made up of 123 members (associations and cooperatives) that manage more than 300 World Shops engaged in the sale of fair trade products, and in providing information, awareness, training and promotions of the fair trade approach throughout the Italian territory.
Altromercato develops cooperative relations and trade with about 170 producer organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.
Altromercato and Ctm Agrofair Italy (fair trade fresh tropical fruit and Italian Solidale Italiano Altromercato oranges and lemons) has a workforce of about a hundred employees (mainly based in Verona); 6,000 people volunteer at the World Shops (Botteghe Altromercato), where about 400 people are employed.
By its very nature, this organizational structure forms a network with an efficient democratic governance featuring a balance of skills and experience able to communicate with the system of fair trade organizations in Europe and worldwide.
In its Botteghe Altromercato it offers: packaged and fresh food, very often organic; textiles; gifts; home-care products (Safylla brand), cosmetics (Natyr and BioNatyr brands), clothing and accessories (Auteurs du Monde brand).
Altromercato is also very much committed to domestic fair trade. Since 2010, with the brand Solidale Italiano Altromercato, it proposes food products made from Italian disadvantaged producers such as Italian social cooperatives, products grown on lands confiscated from the mafia in Southern Italy, and products made in various Italian prison homes, thus giving economic support to training and social inclusion projects.
Altromercato has recently published its first Sustainability Report called “Altrobilancio” (English and Spanish synopsis available very soon) based on the standards of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The report is developed on a multi-stakeholder approach and throughout a Materiality matrix which analyses in depth the following issues: sustainability, producers, quality and controls, cooperation, communication and advocacy, information on products and transparency.
The results were very much encouraging; as far as purchasing is concerned, in the fiscal year 2011/2012 Altromercato registered 56% of advanced payment and +21,4% on purchases from producers in Africa (vs. previous year); as for products Altromercato increased organic food products (+35%), worked on the impact of packaging and reached 100% of recyclable packs in both Cosmetics and Home-care categories (on food is over 90%).
Coherently to its commitment to environment, Altromercato decided not to print the Sustainability Report but to publish it online. The document can be downloaded, read, and “navigated” on a dedicated site. It provides links to interactive contents, external sites, follow-up materials. www.altromercato.it/altrobilancio