What is FAIRTRADE?
- The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE mark. This independent consumer label appears on products to show that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal from trade
- The Mark means that the Fairtrade ingredients in the product have been produced by small-scale farmer organisations or plantations that meet Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards. The standards include protection of workers’ rights and the environment, payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community projects.
- For some products such as bananas, tea and flowers, Fairtrade also certifies plantations - companies that employ large numbers of workers on estates. Standards for such large-scale production units differ and protect workers’ basic rights; from keeping them safe and healthy, allowing them freedom of association and collective bargaining, to preventing discrimination and ensuring no bonded or illegal child labour. They also require employers to pay wages that progress towards living wage benchmarks.
- The producers themselves decide how the Fairtrade Premium should be invested. The premium is the additional sum of money paid on top of the Fairtrade minimum price that farmers and workers receive which can be invested in social, environmental and economic developmental projects to improve their businesses and their communities.
- With FAIRTRADE, consumers have the power to change the world every day. With one simple choice you can get small-scale farmers – who are amongst the most marginalised groups globally – a better, fairer deal. And that means they can make their own decisions, control their futures, and lead the dignified and independent lives everyone deserves. With FAIRTRADE, the benefits go beyond the individual farmer or worker – their communities benefit, their children are more likely to start and complete school, and less likely to live in poverty.
- In government we supported FAIRTRADE with DFID funding since we created the department in 1997.
- Labour believes in the values at the core of FAIRTRADE: that everyone across the globe should receive a fair price for their goods, and a fair wage for their work.
- This is why in government we increased the UK’s investment in helping poor countries trade to over £400 million a year.
- No country has tackled poverty without increasing trade. In government we promoted trade as a way to help millions out of poverty, raise living standards and increase global prosperity. But trade can only be successful in this way if it is done right. Our support for FAIRTRADE helped millions of producers get the returns they deserved for their products.
- Our support for FAIRTRADE not only led to better deals for small-scale farmers and workers – it also led to more certified plantations for certain products. These companies employ large numbers of workers on estates.
- We supported FAIRTRADE as it certified standards for protecting workers’ basic rights – a core part of Labour’s approach to development.
- Our support for FAIRTRADE not only empowered farmers and workers, but also consumers - people in the UK should have the right to know whether a product they are buying is ethical or not.
- Today, more than 1.3 million people – farmers and workers – across more than 70 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.
- 70% of the world’s food is produced by 500 million smallholder farmers yet many of them remain trapped in chronic poverty while shoppers enjoy the fruits of their labour.
- FAIRTRADE ensures farmers across the developing world receive a fairer price for their work, as well as an additional FAIRTRADE Premium, used by farmers and workers to invest in their communities. The community then decides what the Premium is spent on, whether that’s building a new school or hospital, or investing in better environmental business practices.
- FAIRTRADE products are sold in over 125 countries.
- Over 4,500 products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE mark – and 78% of the UK public recognise the FAIRTRADE mark.
- Estimated retail sales of FAIRTRADE products in the UK last year exceeded £1.5 billion
- The UK is one of the world’s leading markets for FAIRTRADE products. The UK also boasts more fair trade products and consumer awareness than anywhere else in the world, with around 20% of the roast and ground coffee, and 20% of the bananas sold in the UK coming from FAIRTRADE producers.
- But we know there is still a long way to go to make all trade fair – just 1.2% of cocoa and less than 10% of tea globally is traded on FAIRTRADE terms.