What is Fairtrade?

5 minute read.

Fairtrade means fair prices for farmers in the developing world. When farmers sell on Fairtrade terms, they get a sustainable price and a premium to invest in their communities - a fair return for all their hard work.

Farmers who get a fair price can invest in their communities and businesses and are empowered to build a better future, improving their healthcare and clean water as well as business initiatives. They get a better deal; their poverty is reduced through your everyday shopping.

Millions of farmers and workers who produce our first meal of the day miss out on breakfast themselves. 80 percent of the world’s coffee is produced by 25 million smallholders who live on less than £1.40 a day. If farmers are guaranteed to receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their coffee, they have a safety net when times are tough and the trade prices fall, this can be around a third more for fairly traded produce.

Buying Fairtrade does not have to cost more – there is such a wide range of Fairtrade products including coffee, chocolate, wine, flowers, and bananas. The Co-operative was the first supermarket to embrace Fairtrade. Look out for the Fairtrade logo. Products with a Fairtrade mark have met internationally-agreed Fairtrade Standards designed to address the imbalance of power of conventional trade. 

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Fairtrade is also about education
During Fairtrade Fortnight, hundreds of school children visit stores to take part in Ethical Challenges. They search for Fairtrade products throughout a store and complete a quiz which helps them to learn about where their food and household products come from, how products can be produced ethically, and the wide range of Fairtrade products available.

How have things changed for the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK in the past 20 years? 
Amazingly one in three bananas sold in the UK is Fairtrade, which is a huge achievement and a great example of mainstream success. The type of product available is also changing, you can buy a Fairtrade KitKat now. 

For more details, visit fairtrade.org.uk