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I’m always asked about Fairtrade, how it actually makes a difference and how choosing Fairtrade at Co-op not only supports communities around the world, but our local communities here in the UK too.
Here are the questions I’m asked most:
What is Fairtrade?
Fairtrade is an independent certification label. It’s part-owned by representatives of farmers and producers and makes sure these producers get a fair price for their goods.
For most products sold under Fairtrade terms, a minimum price is set to protect Fairtrade farmers and producers. An additional Fairtrade Premium is paid on top of this, which producers invest democratically in their businesses or communities, providing essentials from fertiliser and farm equipment to water pumps, schools and health clinics.
Fairtrade Foundation is a charity that makes sure producers comply with regulations and requirements covering everything from environmental protection to safe workplaces and gender balance.
When did Fairtrade start?
The fair trade movement, however, really began as long ago as 1946 when a woman from Pennsylvania in the United States called Edna Ruth Byler started buying needlework from low-income women in Puerto Rico.
What does the Fairtrade Mark mean?
The Fairtrade Mark is a registered certification label licensed by the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK. Ingredients in products carrying the Fairtrade Mark are fairly sourced from from certified producers in developing countries.
The Fairtrade Mark was launched in the UK in 1994 and our Co-op has pioneered fairly traded products ever since.
- All our Co-op African roses are now Fairtrade
- Free Co-op Fairtrade resources
- Fairtrade needs your support
- All cocoa in Co-op own brand products is Fairtrade
Why does the Co-op support Fairtrade?
Our Co-op continues to champion Fairtrade as the values of the Fairtrade movement reflect our own founding co-operative values and principles. Fairtrade is the only “ethical” label to:
- make sure a minimum price and premium is paid to producers
- include the producers in the decision-making process
- continuously show it’s the most effective scheme for producers
How has Co-op recently supported Fairtrade?
Last year all Co-op chocolate confectionery began to carry the Fairtrade Mark and we made the decision to source all the cocoa we use across our entire Co-op Brand range under Fairtrade terms.
We have also recently announced that all Co-op African roses are now Fairtrade, all 35 million stems sold a year.
How does choosing Fairtrade at Co-op support communities locally too?
Our local communities in the UK also benefit from Co-op Fairtrade sales thanks to our Co-op Membership.
When Co-op Members buy select Co-op products, including Co-op Fairtrade products, they earn 5% back for them and 1% back for their local community.
Co-op Members can choose which local community cause to donate their 1% community reward to on their online Co-op Membership account.
Where can I find Fairtrade resources for schools and community groups?
Find free Co-op Fairtrade resources on our website, including a printable:
Fairtrade Strategy Manager