History of FAST

In 2008, the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) was launched with the objective of building a united voice for the sustainable SME finance community.

With support from key partners including USAID, Root Capital, IISD, Rabobank, Cordaid, ForesTrade, and Montreal International, the FAST secretariat was established to serve a largely undefined financial sector.

Located in Montreal, Canada, FAST was the first organization to bring financial service providers together under one common platform. Although the sector of sustainable trade finance is populated by would-be competitors, these institutions are joined by a common mission for sustainable development and by their shared inability to meet the full demand for finance in sustainable production globally, particularly in the developing world.

Today FAST represents 152 member organizations, including 22 financial institutions, in more than 30 countries. Over the course of nearly a decade we have witnessed an unprecedented number of organizations come together to mobilize resources in support of the development of the tools, services and project models that have been accessed by thousands.

With a growing number of deeply interested and committed organizations that see huge potential and need in the sustainable supply chain finance model that FAST members bring to the table, we continue to rely heavily on our members for guidance and direction. Our members are united in the common goal of promoting sustainable economic development by increasing access to financial markets and encouraging the growth of sustainable SMEs in emerging economies.

True to the vision of our founding members, by linking improved access to finance with widely recognized practices for sustainable development, FAST is playing an instrumental role in setting the foundation for a global economy built on the principles of sustainable development rather than one reliant on stop-gap solutions to sustainability emergencies as they arise.