CTM Altromercato


Type: Cooperative

Category: Fair Trade

Homepage: https://www.altromercato.it/it_it/




CTM Altromercato is the Italy's largest alternative Fair Trade organisation and is second biggest in the world. Find out more about how Fair Trade can make positive impacts on both the global south and the north!

Despite economic recessions in Europe, there is a Fair Trade organisation that grew 15~16% annually called Altromercato. Altro in Italian means ‘alternative’ and Mercato means ‘market’. Altromercato keeps attracting consumers and has not only narrowed economic gap between the global north and the south, but also has uplifted standards of social movements in various sectors.

CTM altromercato, the official name is Consulzio CTM altromercato soc. Coop, is the Italy’s largest alternative Fair Trade organization and the second biggest in the world. In 1987, to spread Fair Trade, Rudi Dalvai, Heini Grandi, and Antonio Vaccaro opened a small shop selling Fair Trade products in Bresso and Bolzano, Italy. In 1988, a cooperative CTM was established with 9 members to conduct a nationwide campaign for raising awareness of Fair Trade. Altromercato is now made up of more than 118 organizations (associations and cooperatives) that manage 250 world shops engaged in the sale of Fair Trade products, and providing information, awareness, training of the Fair Trade approach throughout the Italian territory.

As there are many shops directly managed by Altromercato, the system guarantees stable distributions that allow a broad range of imported products. Also, each shop is organised as an individual cooperative in which local citizens gather together to open the shop and involve in management. At the same time, these shops help small producers in developing countries to nurture competitiveness and consumers are patient about the process while they reach certain points.

Altromercato develops cooperative relations and trades with about 150 producer organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. By importing products at Fair prices, it guarantees proper remuneration for producers, transparency in cooperative relations, continuity in trade relations, supporting organic farming actively and promoting social and environmental self-development.

Altromercato is also very much committed to domestic Fair Trade and supporting disadvantaged producers such as Italian social cooperatives, the mafia in Southern Italy, various Italian prisons, and in the north, through marketing products with the “Solidarify Italian Altromercato” brand. The products are imported (exported?) throughout Italy and Europe, and are sold according to the principles of responsible consumption. For example, the price of products is systematically broken down so that the buyer is informed about the percentage allocated to producers and intermediaries. The Altromercato products are distributed through a network of shops Altromercato, but also at several chain supermarkets, natural food stores, clubs, bars and school cafeterias. The genres range from food (over 350 products), crafts (1,500 items), clothing, accessories and cosmetics. It also has three subsidiaries: Inventa Srl / Altromercato SA / CTM Agrofair Italia Srl. 

Altromercato Fair Trade contributes to establish a balanced relationship between developing countries and developed, and also extend their activities through the partnership with local food movements. Moreover, it assisted citizens in Italy to think about local problems by suggesting alternative solutions through Fair Trade. As the close relationship between producers and employers demonstrate, it prevented the power imbalance through normalizing the relationship based on fair exchanges. This means Fair Trade movements improved the standard and values of society. Through all the process, consumers changed their mentality about Fair Trade by acknowledging that Fair Trade is close to their lives and thereby increased the trust of Altromercato. Based on this trust and support, Altromercato was able to overcome the economic recession.