As Fairtrade Fortnight began just the other day, you may have seen various Fairtrade related posts online. If you would like to know exactly what Fairtrade is and what they do in simpler terms then read on. Here are some key things to know about Fairtrade…
What exactly is Fairtrade?
Fair trade is a worldwide movement that aims to help farmers and producers in developing countries. The term fair trade means that the farmers and the producers receive a fair price for the goods that they produce.
History of Fairtrade
The Fairtrade Foundation was formed in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft, the World Development Movement and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.
It was set up following persistent appeals for fairness in trade from Mexican small-scale coffee farmers.
What are some Fairtrade products?
Bananas, coffee, cocoa, sugar, flowers, tea, and cotton are the products that represent more than 90 percent of all Fairtrade farmers and workers.
What is the meaning behind the renowned Fairtrade label?
The Fairtrade symbol was launched in 2002 ( it replaced the original design which was an interlocking F). It is made up of a blue sky that symbolises optimism, and an arm, raised in the air which symbolises empowerment. The Fairtrade Mark also includes the colour green which symbolises growth.
A product with the Fairtrade Mark means that it was produced according to international Fairtrade standards. These standards ensure Fairtrade products are socially and economically fair and environmentally responsible.
- 2003 – Clonakilty became Ireland’s first fairtrade town
- Over 1.7 million – Farmers and workers worldwide involved in Fairtrade
- More than 1.6 million – Farmers and workers represented around the world
- End of 2017 – Fairtrade had grown to almost 1,600 certified producer organizations in 75 countries
- 2015 – Aldi sold almost €4 million worth of Fairtrade products in Ireland
- 16.5 million – Amount of Fairtrade Organic Bananas Lidl sell every year
Some Brands supporting Fairtrade
Ben and Jerrys – the well-known Ice-cream company source five Fairtrade Certified ingredients (sugar, cocoa, vanilla, coffee and bananas)
JD Wetherspoon – the pub company recently switched to using only Fairtrade sugar in their pubs
Fairtrade’s response to The Guardian article
On July 23 2019, The Guardian published an article titled “Is fair trade finished?”
The following is an extract from the article:
Companies are losing faith in labels such as Fairtrade – losing faith in their ability to secure the future of farming and the future of commodities that drive corporate profit, but also losing faith that these independent stamps of sustainability carry any value at all any more.
The following day Fairtrade responded to the article stating that:
“Fair trade is far from finished, as the millions of farmers, workers, companies and consumers who believe in making trade fair will testify. Fair trade will only be finished when fair and equitable trade becomes the norm and not the exception”.
The statement goes on to say…
“Achieving a better deal for farmers and workers in developing countries has always been, and always will be, at the heart of Fairtrade’s mission”.
How to support Fairtrade
Firstly, by choosing to buy Fairtrade products you see in your local stores, you can ensure that farmers are paid fairly for their work. Secondly, that they are also provided with a living wage to support both themselves and their family and thirdly, Fairtrade are also committed to protecting the environment.