Home > Outside The Home > Buy Fairtrade

Buy Fairtrade

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 28 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Fairtrade Developing World Trade

Fairtrade was set up by charities to give those in the developing world a better deal. Conventional trade can discriminate against the poorest, weakest workers, but by making companies pay above market prices, Fairtrade addresses these injustices. It secures decent working conditions, local sustainability, better prices and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers, allowing them to have more control over their lives.

There is a big difference between Fairtrade and ethical trading. The latter means that companies with third world suppliers have ensured these suppliers respect the basic labour rights of employees. The aim of Fairtrade is not merely to prevent the exploitation of workers but to help improve people's lives. It is the only independent consumer guarantee of fair trade and is based on internationally-agreed criteria. Fairtrade is applied to products rather than companies, and provides disadvantaged, small producers with fair prices for these products.

Fairtrade Traders must:

  • Pay a price that covers the costs of sustainable production and living.
  • Pay an extra premium that producers can invest in social or economic development projects.
  • Make partial advance payments if required.
  • Sign contracts that allow sustainable production and long-term planning.

There are about a million farmers and workers directly involved in Fairtrade, coming from more than 58 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Millions more benefit indirectly from the investments in communities of the social premium.

Producers are inspected and monitored and continually encouraged to improve working conditions and product quality, increase the environmental stability of their activities and invest in the development of their organisations and welfare of their workers.

In a relatively short time, Fairtrade products have become big business in the UK. Fairtrade labelling was established in Holland in 1988 when it was used on Mexican coffee. It is now established in 20 countries, including Japan, Australia and New Zealand, throughout Europe and North America, and of those the UK has the largest market.

The first product to carry the Fairtrade mark in Britain was an organic chocolate in March 1994. The first tea and coffees followed that year and by 1998 the UK Fairtrade market was worth £16.7 million. By 2005, sales of Fairtrade products in Britain had topped £195 million, and a poll the same year revealed that 50 per cent of the UK's adult population could identify the Fairtrade label.

Wide Choice of Products

The label is awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation, a registered charity set up by Christian Aid, Oxfam, the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development, Traidcraft Exchange and the World Development Movement. It appears on more than 2000 products, which are available in supermarkets, wholefood shops, fair trade shops, and by mail order.

All Fairtrade products are free of genetically modified organisms and there is a range of organic products, including chocolate, tea, coffee, honey, and cocoa. Initially, Fairtrade focused on agricultural commodities that have the most widespread impact on the livelihoods of small producers in the developing world, but it has since diversified and there is now Fairtrade bananas, cotton, fresh and dried fruit, fresh vegetables, juices, nuts and oil seeds, purees, Quinoa, rice, spices, sugar, wine, cut flowers, ornamental plants, and sports balls.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Rach
    Re: Eco-School Grants and Funds
    Starting a gardening club from scratch in a school and would like to know how to work towards getting the bronze award.
    21 October 2020
  • Julie
    Re: Eco-School Grants and Funds
    Hi - we have our bronze award. Working hard for silver. Any tips/grants for progress in this would be gratefully received. We would…
    15 October 2020
  • Nicola
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    Good morning I am looking for some advice please. I work for a village community centre, a community interest charity.…
    15 October 2020
  • Vision eco
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    Hi I would like to know if I'm able to get some help with funding please? It's only a very small amount needed to finish…
    7 October 2020
  • Wee Mo
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    We are presently in the process of starting to build our own house. We have completed full planning permission and drawings now going…
    3 October 2020
  • charlie
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    Hi, I've recently purchased a plot of land with planning permission. We are in the process of amending the plans which includes a…
    29 September 2020
  • Bennett
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    Hi ,we are in the process of buying a plot of land in a rural village in scotland , have acquired outline planning permission for a…
    28 September 2020
  • MaryM
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    I am looking for grants to support the rebuild of a childcare nursery and funding to pay for temporary accommodation…
    27 September 2020
  • donna
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    Hi, we are doing a self-build, we are looking for information and advice on what grants are available for renewable energy in…
    25 September 2020
  • Marlon
    Re: Energy Efficient Boilers
    Hi I've recently taken ownership of a restaurant takeaway and currently in progress of bringing up to date and could recently do with a…
    24 September 2020