What is Fairtrade?

Local Support Page1 - Fairtrade Churches & Schools 2014Fairtrade is a simple way each one of us can make a difference through our everyday choices.  Its about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.  Fairtrade aims to enable the poorest farmers and workers to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

downloadFairtrade products can be identified by the Fairtrade mark which indicates that the product has been fairly traded and independently certified to meet Fairtrade standards. In the UK this is awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation.  You will find it on lemons, flowers, wine, T-shirts, fruit juices, sugar, ice-cream, honey, peanuts, dried fruit, cereal bars, chocolate, rice, beers, tea, coffee, beauty products, footballs – to name just a few of over 3000 Fairtrade products now available in supermarkets, retail stores as well as in our local shops.


fairtrade workerWhen you buy goods with the Fairtrade mark you know that the producers have received a guaranteed minimum price for their products. On top of this, they also receive an additional Fairtrade premium which is an extra amount that can be invested into their communities. How it is spent is decided democratically by all those involved – farmers, workers, men and women. This social premium can be used to build wells, roads, schools or to allow time to invest in new ways of doing things to improve productivity. Fairtrade can make the difference between people being able to stay in their communities or having to move to find jobs in the city.

At Coocafe, a coffee co-operative in Costa Rica, the premium enabled them to invest in ovens fired by the coffee bean hulls, making a saving on their fuel bills. Gerardo Camacho of Coocafe said “Without Fairtrade we would probably have gone out of business during the coffee crisis.”



downloadThe FAIRTRADE mark is an independent consumer label which appears on products as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal.

For a product to display the FAIRTRADE mark it must meet international Fairtrade standards. These standards are set by the international certification body Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO).

Producer organisations that supply Fairtrade products are inspected and certified by FLO. They receive a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production and an extra premium that is invested in social or economic development projects.


fairtrade foundation logoThe Fairtrade Foundation

The Fairtrade Foundation licenses the FAIRTRADE mark to products in the UK which meet FLO standards. The supplier (brand-owner or main national distributor) must sign the Foundation’s Licence Agreement which provides a licence to use the mark.

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