Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers.
It's about supporting the development of thriving farming and worker communities that have more control over their futures and protecting the environment in which they live and work.
What does the FAIRTRADE Mark mean?
When you buy products with the FAIRTRADE Mark, you support farmers and workers as they work to improve their lives and their communities. The Mark means that the Fairtrade ingredients in the product have been produced by small-scale farmer organisations or plantations that meet Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards. Fairtrade works to benefit small-scale farmers and workers, who are amongst the most marginalised groups globally, through trade rather than aid to enable them to maintain their livelihoods and reach their potential.
For certain products, such as coffee, cocoa, cotton and rice, Fairtrade only certifies small-scale farmer organisations. Working through democratic organisations of small-scale farmers, Fairtrade offers rural families the stability of income which enables them to plan for the future.
They also require employers to pay wages that progress towards living wage benchmarks. Ensuring decent working conditions and strong worker rights is central to Fairtrade's work.
The producers themselves decide how the Fairtrade Premium should be invested. In real terms, it means investment in schools, transport, health care, sanitation, an improved environment and better business equipment and practices.
Fairtrade Minimum Price
For most Fairtrade goods there is a Fairtrade minimum price which is set to cover the cost of sustainable production for that product in that region. If the market price for that product is higher that our minimum price, then producers should receive the market price. Payment of the minimum price is regularly audited and checked by FLO-Cert. This acts as a vital safety net for farmers and workers and protects them from fluctuations in the market prices of the products they grow for a living. This protection ensures they can have an assured and stable income and plan for their future. Fairtrade is the only certification scheme that offers such a unique minimum price protection for farmers.
Over and above the Fairtrade price, the Fairtrade Premium is an additional sum of money. which goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use – as they see fit - to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. Producers determine what is most important to them; whether this is education or healthcare for their children, improving their business or building vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges for their community.