What Fairtrade does

Fairtrade is committed to changing the way global trade works. For too long conventional trade chains have fed growing inequality around the world and left farmers and workers marginalized. Help change the status quo with each purchase!

Fairtrade’s vision is a world in which all producers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods, fulfill their potential and decide on their future.

Fairtrade works to make trade more fair. Our standards require sustainable production and farming practices, improved working conditions, better prices and wages for farmers and workers, and more transparent trade practices. Fairtrade prohibits child labor, forced labor, GMOs, and encourages environmentally-friendly production.

What is Fairtrade?

rural women

Fairtrade is a novel approach to international trade based on partnership, connecting the people who produce our food and goods with the people who purchase and enjoy them.

We do this by certifying compliance with the Fairtrade International Standards that correct power imbalances, and encourage business relationships based on trust and transparency. Because producers of different products have specific challenges, Fairtrade Standards are unique assuring the greatest impact for farmers and workers.

These social, economic and environmental standards apply to the full supply chain from the farmers and workers, to the traders and companies bringing the final product to market. Compliance with the standards and payment of applicable prices and premiums is checked by FLOCERT, an ISO17065 accredited certification body.

How is Fairtrade Different?

The Fairtrade International system has a number of unique features that help us make an impact for farmers and workers.

Farmers and workers have an equal voice in Fairtrade

Governance is important. In Fairtrade, farmers and workers have 50% of the vote in the General Assembly, four seats on the board of Fairtrade International, and representation on the Standards Committee that approves changes to the standards, minimum prices and premiums.

The Fairtrade Minimum Price

The Fairtrade Minimum Price applies to most Fairtrade products, and acts as a safety net for farmers and workers when prices fall below a sustainable level. The minimum price aims to cover the costs of sustainable production and is established by Fairtrade International through an intensive consultation process with producers, traders and other stakeholders.

Fairtrade is unique in that it is the only certification system that offers the protection of a minimum price to producers. This help them better plan for the future knowing that they have a stable income for what they sell on Fairtrade terms.

The Fairtrade Premium

On top of the purchase price for the raw product, producer organizations receive a Fairtrade Premium for sales on Fairtrade terms. This amount is paid directly to the producer organization whose members decide how to best invest it to improve their community, business or local environment.

For farmers, the Fairtrade Premium can mean improving their business or productivity, helping them transition to organic production, supporting local schools or improving healthcare. Workers will often invest in better housing for community members, access to education and much more. We believe that farmers and workers know best what their communities need, which is why Fairtrade gives farmers and workers the ability to invest the premium as they see fit.