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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.

News

Fairtrade Foundation appoints Professor Bob Doherty as new trustee

8 September, 2017

Professor Bob Doherty has been appointed as a new Trustee of the Fairtrade Foundation.

Bob is Professor of Marketing at the York Management School, University of York, and brings a wealth of experience in researching the marketing and management aspects of fair trade and social enterprises, particularly how they manage their commercial and social objectives.

After four years as both Deputy and Acting Dean of the York Management School, he is now principal investigator of the Global Food Security (GFS) Fund programme grant called IKnowFood. He is also Research Theme Leader for Food Sustainability in the York Environmental Sustainability Institute and the N8 AgriFood Lead at York for the £8m HEFCE grant.

Bob has combined his impressive research track record with his passion for campaigning on fair trade issues. He was Chair of the Liverpool’s Fairtrade Steering Committee from 2003-2016, and prior to moving into academia, Bob spent nearly five years as the first ever Head of Sales and Marketing at the Fairtrade social enterprise, Divine Chocolate Ltd from 1999 to 2003.

His strong commercial, financial and marketing background in the private, higher education and charity sectors will bring valuable capabilities to the Foundation Board. His extensive background in research means he has a clear understanding of the importance of Fairtrade’s ability to demonstrate impact and an understanding of how the Fairtrade Foundation can continue to strengthen links between campaigners and the Foundation as it continues to evolve.

Bob Doherty said: “‘The Fairtrade Foundation has been delivering developmental impact for disadvantaged producers for a quarter of a century via product certification. It’s the only certification scheme that pays producers both a Fairtrade Price premium plus a social premium to invest in community capacity building.  It’s the gold standard of ethical standards and I am looking forward to being part of ensuing Fairtrade continues to innovate and deliver positive sustainable change”.

Welcoming him to the Board, Michael Jary, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Fairtrade Foundation said: “Bob has a long standing engagement with Fair Trade, the Fairtrade Foundation and its network across multiple channels, from campaigning to research to working for a Fairtrade Organisation. A Fairtrade campaigner since 1998, including leading the process of Liverpool becoming a Fairtrade City, he continues to engage with the Fairtrade campaigner movement, both in the UK and globally.”

Fairtrade sales in 2016 bucked the contracting grocery market trend to see volume growth across some of its core areas including bananas and coffee, whilst other areas like wine and gold also showed growth.

The increased volumes mean an estimated increase in financial premiums to total around £32.2 million that will go to farmers and producers across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean to allow them to continue delivering improvements for themselves and their communities.

News Products Supporters

J J Fox Guernsey Ltd latest to sign-up

J J Fox Guernsey Limited have just confirmed their significant support for Fairtrade. Their product range includes the following Fairtrade:

Milfresh vending chocolate

Cafe Nueva Espresso beans

Tate & Lyle vending sugar

Nestle Partners coffee

…… so no excuse not to fill your vending machine with Fairtrade!

Events News

Organic September: 8 things you didn’t know were Fairtrade and organic

Organic September: 8 things you didn’t know were Fairtrade and organic
It’s September and time for the UK’s biggest celebration of all things organic. But there are a whole range of innovative and unusual products you might not have realised that are certified Fairtrade as well as organic.
Fairtrade fights for better rights for farmers and workers around the world. It guarantees a minimum price for workers and supports communities through a Fairtrade Premium to help empower groups of smallholders and invest in techniques and infrastructure that improve people’s prospects.

Organic farming is one technique that Fairtrade producers are increasingly interested in. Fifty one per cent of all Fairtrade farmers hold organic certification. From tantalising treats to healthy staples, this list of all those unexpected goodies has a lot to offer.

By choosing Fairtrade you can help improve the lives and futures of over 1.6 million Fairtrade farmers across the globe. If you look for organic too you can rest assured that further environmental concerns have been taken care of.

Ma's Kitchen Coconut milk

Ma’s Happy Life Kitchen Organic Coconut Milk
Sourced from small scale farmers and processed in the heart of Sri Lanka, Ma’s Fairtrade Coconut Milk is 100% Organic certified by the USDA. Coconut milk is squeezed from fresh coconuts to produce full flavoured and smooth milk, which is perfect for both sweet and savoury dishes.

Where to buy: order online through JTS Fine Food or check the stockist map for a number of independent stores. Cost: £1.85 online

Earl Grey Blue Flower
Big Leaf, Big Flavour, Big Love: this is an exciting classic, big flavoured earl grey tea hand blended at Suki HQ.

The classic Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea is good, but Suki wanted to switch up the standard issue synthetic bergamot. So they now source and use the best organic Sicilian bergamot oil available. The addition of Blue Cornflowers makes this a visually stunning tea. It’s a Champion of Champions and a Great Taste Award winner to boot.

King Soba Organic Basmati Brown Rice Noodles

King Soba’s rice noodles are a great healthy staple food made from the ‘king of rice’ basmati. These noodles are delicious served in a Japanese style vegetable soup or stir-fried with your favourite spices. They’re also a healthy, gluten-free alternative to pasta.

King Soba are a family business who are focused on the principals of healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. This product is certified organic and Fairtrade, so contains fewer pesticides and is kind to the environment, as well as looking after the people who produce it.

Where to buy: Holland & Barrett, Amazon, Wholefoods Online plus King Soba Cost: from £1.99

Gusto Organic Real Cola

Gusto launch two new premium colas in a 275ml glass bottle, new for 2017. Gusto’s Cola is the only organic, lower calorie Fairtrade cola in Europe.

The two new offerings are identifiably members of the cola family yet they are completely free of non-natural ingredients: so no phosphoric acid, no aspartame and not a hint of synthetic vanilla or petrochemical caffeine.

The drinks are made in Devon with spring water from the naturally wild Exmoor moors. Gusto Organic Real Cola and Gusto Naturally Slim Cola are both Fairtrade certified and are a blend of organic spices and essential oils with cola nut from the rainforests of Africa, Fairtrade Bourbon vanilla from Madagascar and sweetened with Fairtrade and organic blue agave from Jalisco in Mexico.

LEMONAID+ Organic & Fairtrade drinks

Lemonaid is a trio of truly sustainable soft drinks – the ingredients are organic, vegan and are sourced from small-scale farming cooperatives in Sri Lanka, Paraguay, Mexico and South Africa. Plus they taste delicious!

In this range of three, you can choose from luscious lime, summery passionfruit or tantalizing blood orange. The refreshing, lightly sparkling drinks are made from pure fruit juice and 50% less sugar than regular soft drinks.

Traidcraft GEO bars

Traidcraft’s new organic GEOBARs

Traidcraft has launched GEOBAR’s first ever organic and Fairtrade fruit and nut wholefood bar range, offering a delicious snack which also makes a difference to lives across the globe.
The bars are launching in three exciting new flavours, Apple & Kale, Carrot & Ginger and Cocoa & Beetroot. They’re packed with Fairtrade dates, raisins, cashews & cocoa from Fairtrade farmers across the globe.

Little Miracles Ice tea
Watch out for Little Miracle’s enchanting new range of ice-teas. Always on the lookout for more hidden treasures for their consumers, this brand is all set to become the all rounded healthy snack solution for people on the go.
All ingredients are certified organic and Fairtrade packed with goodness and healing properties straight from Mother Nature including ginger, baobab and Mate from South Africa and South America. Replacing cane sugar with natural agave in all their ice-teas they have successfully combined perfect sweetness with cleaner taste.

Where to buy: Waitrose. Cost: £1.39 each

Waitrose Duchy Organic Fairtrade Bananas

Arguably the nation’s favourite fruit, it’s often a relief to realise that the majority of organic bananas you can buy in the supermarket are Fairtrade too!

Like this bright bunch from top quality Waitrose Duchy Organic.

Fairtrade is helping protect the environment and improve sustainable production of bananas by training smallholder farmers and encouraging the use of more natural processes like organic farming.

 

News

Shared Interest at work in Peru

Great Masters of the Peruvian HighlandsFounded in 2008, Coopecan is run by six associations and 93 individual alpaqueros. Together they care for almost 3,000 camelids in the highlands of Southern Peru.

Some of the poorest and most remote communities of the upper Andes, rely on alpacas to provide their only chance of income.

These hardy animals, best known for the insulating quality of their wool, are also a vital source of transport for goods such as medicine across the mountainous terrain. Most alpaqueros, live in remote areas high up in the Andes. Many live in clay houses with no electricity or running water. Here, alpacas are a vital part of Peruvian life where more than 50% of the population survive on less than one dollar a day.

The women and children of Andean villages nurture their herds all year round, shearing their coats just once a year. Alpacas are treated like family; without them, these remote Andean communities would face a serious threat to their livelihoods.

Due to the co-operative’s strong commitment to Fairtrade principles, Coopecan approached Shared Interest for support in early 2016, to pay their farmers on time and develop their premises to improve efficiency.

It is this holistic approach to their work that leads Coopecan to support their alpaqeros with medication for themselves and their herd, and also advise on good environmental practices. The result is better feed, healthier alpacas and better quality wool.

“The impact of the Shared Interest loan on the lives of our members, and especially my family, is very important because without it, Coopecan could not buy fibre directly from the producers, and that would cause the intermediaries to pay us lower prices for our fibre. With the loan, Coopecan can help to keep regulated the price of the fibre, of which all benefit from a higher income.” Jorge Basilio, President, Coopecan

Fairtrade Guernsey are supporters of Shared Interest.

News

Waitrose to be 100% Fairtrade own-label tea.

Waitrose has today announced it will be extending its commitment to Fairtrade produce by making 100% of its own-label tea Fairtrade certified by October 2017.

This will mean all 46 Waitrose tea products will be Fairtrade, which clearly symbolises to customers that the tea farmers are benefiting from good working conditions, a fair deal and funds to spend on their local community.

Farmers can choose how to spend the Fairtrade Premium generated – whether on developing their business or on community  projects such as schools, health clinics or leisure facilities.

Forty-three of Waitrose’s own-label tea products are already Fairtrade certified with the exception of its three Earl Grey tea lines, which will complete the conversion in October.

Rupert Thomas, Commercial Director at Waitrose, said:

“We’re proud supporters of the Fairtrade Foundation and have seen first-hand their strong track record of supporting farmers who most need it.

“We’ve found that our customers are extremely loyal towards Fairtrade products and appreciate our long-standing and continued commitment – it highlights the investment in and support for the people, communities and businesses that produce our food.”

Euan Venters, Commercial Director at Fairtrade Foundation, said: “This move means all Waitrose’s own label black and green tea will be 100% Fairtrade. This is fantastic news that will help improve the lives of some of the poorest tea farmers in China, who have previously invested their Fairtrade Premium in schools, sanitation, and tea quality and productivity projects, benefiting farmers and the wider community.

“Congratulations to Waitrose for taking another vital step in making their supply chains sustainable and making a great cup of tea even greater.”

The retailer currently stocks 250 Fairtrade-certified products. 100% of its own-label speciality sugars are certified Fairtrade, along with the majority of its own-label block chocolate, including its Waitrose 1 Indian Ocean Bar with Coconut, which was recently awarded the much-coveted Gold award in the 2017 Academy of Chocolate Awards.

Waitrose first committed to the Fairtrade Foundation in 2007 and both work collaboratively to share best practice, experiences and a joint ambition to build upon their sustainable supply chain models.

News Products

Fairtrade Summer Product Review

Remember last year’s summer products review? You told us you loved it so much that we’ve done it again and we’ve gone bigger…

Check out the Fairtrade Foundation blog to see what the team at Fairtrade thought.

If you’ve found other exciting Fairtrade products let us know!