Insights,  Living

fairtrade is more than just a fair price

Happy 25th birthday, Fairtrade! 25 years of Fairtrade sales have empowered more than one and a half million farmers and workers to fight for the fair deal they deserve. If you’re choosing to purchase Fairtrade products whenever possible, we think that makes you one of the most important people in the world.

strong, sustainable supply chains

Imagine you’re a farmer, and no matter how hard you work, the price you get for your crop never covers your costs. If you deliver the best in the business? That still doesn’t matter. On top of fair prices, Fairtrade farmers receive the Fairtrade Premium – an additional sum of money that they can choose to invest in a way that they see fit. Why? Because they know better than anyone where it can make the most difference—that could be more books at the local school, improved water pipes, electricity, new roads or investing in their farms.

Fairtrade also offers environmental training so farmers can improve soils, plant trees and conserve water. Through this investment, farmers can become more resilient to climate change.

Did you know that farmers and workers have a big say in how Fairtrade operates? They comprise 50% of the General Assembly and 4 of 11 Fairtrade International Board members are producer representatives. Because when producer voices are heard, Fairtrade can make a real impact.

further complications for cotton farmers

Many cotton farmers in developing countries live below the poverty line and are dependent on middlemen who often buy their cotton at prices below the cost of production. This situation is worsened by the fact that cotton trade is heavily distorted by government subsidies given to cotton farmers in rich countries like the US and EU. This creates a market that allows these countries to export their cotton at artificially low prices that small-scale farmers in countries such as Africa and India are unable to compete in. Knowing this, we joined Fairtrade and worked with them to find Fairtrade certified factories and farms, there was simply no other option for us. We started our journey with a mission to support the incredible and talented workers that we met in India.

grounds for hope

Coffee. It’s where Fairtrade started 25 years ago. After your blissful night’s sleep, there’s nothing like a mug of the good stuff in the morning, right? Imagine a world without it… yikes! But with most coffee farmers living on so little a day, fewer young people are going into the industry. When you buy Fairtrade coffee, you’re not only ensuring fair prices, supporting the structures that underpin skilled coffee farming and helping to provide environmental training, but also making coffee growing more attractive and sustainable for young people.

it all adds up

Fair pay, fair prices and communities with a future. Fairtrade is helping to make the world a better place, however, they need our help more than ever. Volatile markets, the rise in ‘fairwashing’ and climate change are all causing acute inequality. Every purchase makes a difference.

Fairtrade Cotton Logo

Header image by Didier Gentilhomme, image 1 by Suzanne Lee, image 2 by the Fairtrade Foundation

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