Hi there! My name is Alex and I'm currently undertaking my Creative Writing PhD at the University of Lincoln. I'm a big fan of lots of streaming services, books, and am a published poet! I aspire to be a multi-genre,…
Many of us will have seen the word Fairtrade countless times, alongside its very familiar logo, attached to food in our local shops and supermarkets – but what does it actually mean? Simply put, Fairtrade is a unique certification system which makes sure to maintain certain standards in the supply/production of an ingredient or product. For those of us buying the products, that means ensuring high quality and ethical production. Then for those working to source/create the product, such as farmers, it works to ensure their rights, fair pay, and safer working conditions. By choosing Fairtrade as shoppers, we show governments and businesses around the world that we care about the fairness of trade.
Fairtrade as an organisation work across the board with different governments, businesses and farming co-operatives to maintain lines of communication to help keep everyone connected in these ventures. The ultimate vision is to help create a world where producers from every walk of life can earn secure and sustainable livelihoods, and not be taken advantage of by the monolith of commerce. Fairtrade does this by using its dedicated network of supporters to raise awareness of the issues of unfair trade, as well as have fundraisers to support the work they do.
Fairtrade also works to design and set different social, economic and environmental standards, both for companies and for the farmers in different positions of the product supply chain. For farmers, these mainly include the protection of workers’ rights and the environment, whereas for companies this includes the payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price safety net, as well as an additional Fairtrade Premium. Then going forward from this FLOCERT, an independent organisation, checks that all the Fairtrade Standards have been met by all those who are part of product supply chains. Then, to confirm to customers that this has happened, they license the use of the Fairtrade Mark on those products.
Fairtrade tries to help and work with everyone involved at every level of production and achieves this in several ways.
Working With Companies’ Schemes
Fairtrade helps companies adapt their approaches to sustainability according to customer demand, and they do this by helping them build schemes based on core Fairtrade values. These principles are at the heart of Fairtrade’s mission and include: ensuring workers are paid a fair price, supporting flourishing producer organisations, and enabling democratic decision-making for workers on their business and community development.
Fairtrade utilises its supporter base to demand fairer trade deals for the farmers who supply us with so much of our food and make sure that lines of communication remain open and strong.
Working Directly With Farmers + Workers
Fairtrade supports its partners across a range of specific issues, such as assisting Bolivian coffee farmers battling plant diseases brought about by climate change.
Creating Awareness With The Public
Through their Fairtrade Towns, Schools and Faith groups, and through lots of different campaigns, they work to bring awareness to unfair trade and encourage the public to choose Fairtrade.
Fairtrade continues to work hard and grow, having partnerships across the world from South America, Africa, and Asia. Here are just a few examples of Fairtrade products and their origins:
- Bananas from St Lucia and Ghana
- Cocoa from Dominican Republic and Ivory Coast
- Coffee from Bolivia
- Cotton from India
- Flowers from Kenya
- Nuts from Malawi
- Sugar from Belize and Paraguay
- Tea from Sri Lanka
- Vanilla from Uganda
- Wine from Argentina
You can take a look for yourself on the Fairtrade Map with this link –https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/what-is-fairtrade/where-fairtrade-works/ – I highly recommend that you take the time to take in all the other information the Fairtrade website provides, because it will inform you on exactly how you can help the Fairtrade cause, and by just taking the time to look for that little logo in the supermarket, you can bring fairness and justice to those who deserve it around the world.