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Guernsey has once again achieved reaccreditation as a Fairtrade Island.

Statement by the President of the States of Guernsey Overseas Aid & Development Commission, Deputy Emilie Yerby.

Wednesday 28 February 2018

Statement on Fairtrade


It gives me great pleasure to announce that Guernsey has once again achieved reaccreditation as a Fairtrade Island, a status we have held for twelve years now, since our first accreditation in March 2006. This means that we are proud to promote Fairtrade across our community, and are active in increasing local support for it.

The concept of Fairtrade is simple and elegant, and it is focused on ensuring that farmers and labourers in the world’s poorest countries get a better deal.

The Fairtrade Mark is a label States Members will have seen on many products – most famously tea and coffee, chocolate and bananas, but there’s a lot more out there: from rice to wine, sports balls to cut flowers, honey and spices to gold and silver jewellery.

The Fairtrade Mark tells you something about the producers of the product. It tells you that the production meets minimum social and environmental standards – including, for example, the avoidance of child labour; basic health and safety protections; and careful management of soil fertility and water resources. It tells you that the producers were paid at least a minimum price for their goods, as well as a premium to be reinvested in their communities or in developing their business.

As consumers, we may choose Fairtrade products for ethical or economic reasons – because they give us some comfort as to the working conditions of those who have produced our food; because they support entrepreneurship in developing countries; because they offer a direct route to help improve the lives of the world’s poorest, through trade rather than aid.

And that is where we come in. Fairtrade relies on basic economic principles: the supply of decent, ethically-produced goods relies on there being a demand for it. And there is – we know that in the UK, for example, at least one in three bananas sold is Fairtrade. That demand grows as people understand what the Fairtrade Mark is about, and how it can help disadvantaged producers. Fairtrade Towns and Islands – like us – apply for that status to show that we are committed to raising awareness of Fairtrade across our communities, and encouraging its use.

Deputy Gollop is the only remaining States Member of the group of nine who signed a Requête, led by former Deputy Mike Torode, that committed Guernsey to becoming a Fairtrade Island, and that sought, especially, to underline the States’ particular support for Fairtrade, with Fairtrade refreshments being served in all government buildings and at all government events. That commitment goes on and, while the Overseas Aid & Development Commission has agreed to take the lead in championing Fairtrade across the States, it will depend on all of us to really support and embed Fairtrade across our areas of work.

Fairtrade Fortnight began this week and will run until 11th March – two weeks in which the local Fairtrade steering group will be working especially hard to raise awareness, with public events, school assemblies and a range of other opportunities to learn about and support Fairtrade, to which all are invited. It is hugely encouraging to be able to mark the start of Fairtrade Fortnight with the good news that Guernsey has received reaccreditation, and I want to close by putting on record my thanks to all those whose hard work has got us this far, and who will continue to put every effort into ensuring that Guernsey lives up to its status as a Fairtrade Island

Events Fairtrade Fortnight News

Professor Kevin Bales CMG, an expert on modern day slavery, speaking at a special evening to launch Fairtrade Fortnight 2018

Mon 26 Feb 2018 “Come on in ….. and open more doors to Fairtrade”

7.30 p.m. Professor Kevin Bales CMG, an expert on modern day slavery, speaking at a special evening to launch Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 at Les Cotils.

Free admission, but you are requested to reserve your place by emailing

Fairtrade poster for 26 Feb 2018 (1)

Events News

AGM of Fairtrade Guernsey

Fairtrade Guernsey Steering Group
Annual General Meeting
to be held on Thursday 25 January 2018,
7.00pm at St Martin’s Community Centre.
All those interested in promoting Fairtrade welcome.
Events Fairtrade Fortnight Featured News Supporters

Fairtrade Fortnight 2018



Saturday 24 February, 8.30 a.m. @ Les Cotils.

Mon 26 Feb 2018 “Come on in ….. and open more doors to Fairtrade”

7.30 p.m. Professor Kevin Bales CMG, an expert on modern day slavery, speaking at a special evening to launch Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 at Les Cotils.

Free admission, but you are requested to reserve your place by emailing

Les Rocquettes Hotel, Les Gravees, St Peter Port offering a “Special Fairtrade Menu” for the Fortnight.

Fairtrade Menu 2018 Les Rocquettes Hotel

Sat 3 March

Fairtrade Guernsey Fundraising Quiz. 7.00 p.m. at St Martin’s Community Centre

Fri 9 March

Profile Profile Mahyana Updated

Fairtrade visitors arrive. Mahyana Sari, the visiting producer is the secretary of the Arinagata Cooperative, who produce coffee in Sumatra, Indonesia.

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight is an action-packed highlight of the year, when campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2018: Monday 26 February – Sunday 11 March

‘For hundreds of years, we were taught to serve, to be workers. Now with Fairtrade, we are entrepreneurs’

Marcial Quintero, member of Coobana, a Fairtrade banana co-operative in Panama.

It’s a scandalous reality that millions of farmers and workers are still being ripped off despite working hard to provide the products we love. Unfairness in global trade is rooted in centuries of exploitation.

Yet across the globe, Marcial and hard-working producers like him are unravelling this legacy. They’re fighting for a fair deal, supported by Fairtrade, earning their way out of poverty and transforming their communities.

Together we’re stronger, and more people choosing, sharing and shouting about Fairtrade in the UK means more power to producers like Marcial to break the stranglehold of poverty prices.

There’s never been a more important time to stand with producers through Fairtrade – to protect the progress you’ve achieved alongside them, and to welcome more people – supporters, producers, businesses – into Fairtrade.

This Fairtrade Fortnight, stand with farmers like Marcial to close the door on exploitation, and welcome more people into Fairtrade.

‘Before joining Fairtrade we didn’t see any benefits, development or profit. The price we received per box wasn’t enough to cover our costs – and for 17 years it didn’t change. Since starting with Fairtrade, it’s made a mega-revolution in our lives.’ Marcial Quintero, Coobana

News Products

The world’s biggest fashion retailer of Fairtrade certified cotton……..

Dressmann, one of the leading fashion chains for menswear in Northern Europe, is set to become the world’s biggest fashion retailer of Fairtrade certified cotton when it launches a new range of t-shirts, boxer shorts and socks.

Dressmann has also committed to source 100% sustainable cotton by 2025 in an effort to improve social and environmental conditions across its entire supply chain. Fairtrade cotton farmers in India will benefit from increased Fairtrade sales and plan to invest in education projects and increasing environmentally friendly production.

“We are proud to be able to launch a range of clothing made from Fairtrade certified cotton, making us the biggest player in the sector! The Fairtrade label will initially launch on basic garments that are always in store, but this is just the beginning of our journey with Fairtrade, and we plan to introduce more clothing lines in Fairtrade certified cotton by 2018”, said Chessa Nilsen, Sustainability Lead at Dressmann.

The move will see the Norwegian apparel chain launch its new range of t-shirts, boxers and socks made from Fairtrade certified cotton in up to 500 stores across Europe in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Austria and Germany, making them the largest global buyer of Fairtrade certified cotton in the apparel sector. The commitment means that the farmers who grew their cotton have met Fairtrade’s rigorous social, economic and environmental standards.

“It’s exactly when big volumes such as these are traded on Fairtrade terms that Fairtrade can have a truly transformative impact on cotton farming communities and their environment across Africa, Asia and Latin America. We hope that Dressmann’s Fairtrade commitment will inspire other major fashion brands and retailers to follow suit and scale up”, says Subindu Garkhel, Fairtrade’s Global Cotton Manager.

Great boost for farmers in India

In India, over 2,400 cotton farmers from Fairtrade certified cooperative Noble Ecotech have already benefitted from Fairtrade cotton sales. They have been able to purchase farm equipment, water tanks and school equipment for local children, and installed drainage in all fields, reducing their water consumption by approximately 40 percent.

“Before, we had to buy seeds and other farm inputs from local merchants each year and found ourselves in spiralling debt to them. Now, the Fairtrade-certified cooperative we are all members of buys cotton seed in large quantities which they sell to us farmers for a reasonable price. The cooperative buys all the cotton we grow and sells it for us. This means that individual farmers no longer have to chase buyers single-handedly”, farmer Chatr Singh explained recently when Dressmann’s parent company Varner and Fairtrade Norway visited India in October.

Farmers from Noble Ecotech plan to invest money earned from Fairtrade sales in establishing a centre for agricultural training where they can learn about efficient farming and cultivation of other crops, as well as how best to produce natural fertilizers and pesticides.

Traceability is important

All the Fairtrade certified cotton in Dressmann’s garments can be physically traced all the way back to the farmers’ cooperative. “Dressmann has committed to ensure that all the cotton we use by 2025 should come from sustainable sources, and Fairtrade is our preferred tool within this context. Fairtrade helps us increase our sustainability not only at the factory floor level, but also for the farmers who grow our cotton, “says Chessa Nilsen.

News Products

The first ever shipment of African Fairtrade gold from Uganda has been delivered.

The first ever shipment of African Fairtrade gold from Uganda has been delivered. In 2016, Syanyonja Artisan Miners Alliance (SAMA), co-operative in Uganda became the first ever African gold mine to become Fairtrade certified. It’s been a long road from mine to market but soon African miners will get the same benefits as their Fairtrade counterparts in South America.
Life is tough for small-scale gold miners. Miners often work with their bare hands, forced to accept low, unfair prices from middle men. Gold mining is often the only form of employment and miners earn as little as £0.50 a day. But with support from Fairtrade, the formerly illegal miners are now registered with the local government and the improvements have been transformational.
Joseph Waffula, General Secretary of SAMA, is looking forward to the changes Fairtrade certification will bring. ‘When we get a Fairtrade price we’ll be able to educate our children and the community will also benefit as we’ll be able to support the health centre in Busitema.
‘We’d like to support the orphans with exercise books. Even buying an extra 12 books makes a big difference.’
The potential for Fairtrade Gold to change this industry is huge – from rings on fingers to parts in phones and even types of medical treatment! But the biggest change will be for the miners themselves.
In the words of Simon Wabwire, Chairman of SAMA: ‘It was like a dream to be certified – we worked hard. It was unbelievable when we heard.’
If you, or anyone you know, are looking to buy something special at Christmas (or any time of year) why not think about Fairtrade gold? Find your nearest stockist of Fairtrade gold.
Now that’s going for gold.