The international Fairtrade system exists to end poverty through trade. The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body and NGO which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on more than 5,000 products which meet its rigorous social, economic and environmental standards. This independent label signifies to consumers that farmers and workers across 75 developing countries are getting a better deal from trade. Today, more than 1.6 million people who work hard to produce coffee, tea, cocoa, bananas, wines, flowers, cotton, gold and many other products benefit from Fairtrade, which campaigns for as well as enables a fairer system of global trade. In 2015, UK retail sales of Fairtrade certified products exceeded £1.6 billion. Beyond certification, the Fairtrade Foundation is deepening its impact by delivering specialist programmes to help disadvantaged communities boost productivity in the face of challenges such as climate change.
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers.
It’s about supporting the development of thriving farming and worker communities that have more control over their futures and protecting the environment in which they live and work. And it’s your opportunity to connect with the people who grow the produce that we all depend on.
When you buy products with the FAIRTRADE Mark, you support farmers and workers as they work to improve their lives and their communities. 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.
Our current food system is out of control for farmers, consumers and companies. Too many farmers are going hungry while the rich world is consuming too much. Supermarkets are trapped by their own low prices which prevent them from investing in farmers and paying them fair prices.
Make Food Fair calls for a sustainable food system, which works for everyone and ensures that farmers can get a decent livelihood from the crops that they grow.
Did you know:
- Half of the world’s hungry are smallholder farmers who are unable to earn a living from the crops that they grow.
- Smallholder tea growers often receive less than 3 per cent of the retail value of tea, and sometimes less than 1 per cent.
- UK supermarkets sell bananas more cheaply than anywhere else in the developed world, even though the cost of growing bananas has shot up for the producers.
- Each year consumers in rich countries waste as much food as is produced every year in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Make Food Fair campaign will build a powerful movement of people demanding an end to the unfairness in our food system. It will challenge decision-makers to go further to support smallholder farmers in crisis, and it will take the call for trade justice to business leaders.
10 good reasons to buy Fairtrade
- It’s so easy – just look for the FAIRTRADE Mark on a range of great tasting foods.
- It tackles poverty by opening up markets to marginalised producers.
- The Fairtrade price covers the producers’ costs, with a premium to invest in their business and the community.
- Workers and farmers decide democratically how to invest the Fairtrade premium.
- It empowers producer and worker groups in the supply chain and increases their knowledge of international trade.
- Fairtrade farmers are encouraged to protect their environment or go organic.
- Consumers show they care about producers and not just about prices.
- It challenges all companies to move away from unsustainably low commodity prices and unethical sourcing.
- Fairtrade sends a loud message to governments that the public wants justice in all trade.
- It’s trustworthy. Look for the FAIRTRADE Mark to guarantee that producers in developing countries are getting a better deal.
Fairtrade works to benefit small-scale farmers and workers through trade rather than aid to enable them to maintain their livelihoods and reach their potential.