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When you buy Co-op Fairtrade products, you’re directly improving the lives of farmers and communities around the world.

I recently visited Cote d’Ivoire and met Awa Traoré Bomba who explained to me the difference Fairtrade has had in her life.

How Fairtrade helps

At 30 years old, Awa is the director of their cocoa co-operative, overseeing over 2,000 farmers, 90% of whom are men. They became Fairtrade-certified six years ago and it has totally changed the way they live.

 “Before, it was hard to buy food, to meet our families’ needs. But with Fairtrade, there is a set price that producers get for their crops, regardless of fluctuations in the market. That minimum allows producers and their families to live decently. There is a lot of training. Our farmers learn to manage their income, to control production costs and to invest. They can get credit if they need equipment or machinery, and we ensure that they are using the correct fertilisers. All this has a visible impact: before, we had fields where farmers were producing 200 to 300 tonnes per hectare. Now, by following good agricultural practices, they have doubled their output.” Awa Traoré Bomba, Fairtrade producer

Thanks to Fairtrade, Awa was able to train at the School of Women’s Leadership, which has been funded by Fairtrade Premium from the cocoa Co-op buys in partnership with Fairtrade Africa. The programme helped her become a director at such a young age.In African society, women are often marginalised and don’t have access to education, so schools like this are so important. They help bring more women producers into Fairtrade and train them to become self-sufficient.

How you can help

We are proud to be the UK’s largest convenience retailer of Fairtrade products. This means that we have helped provide better prices, working conditions and terms of trade to our suppliers in developing countries. Here’s how you can help make a difference:

  • Swap one item in your basket for a Fairtrade item. The choices you make every time you shop help change lives around the world. So why don’t you join us and make a pledge to swap just one purchase a week to a Fairtrade product. Whether it’s bananas on your breakfast or the chilled white wine, by making this one switch a week together we can make a big difference to the lives of millions.
  • Download our celebration pack. Access stories, recipes, hints and tips on how to spread the word of Fairtrade in your community.
  • Sign the Fairtrade Foundation petition. Urge the UK government to make poverty reduction and fair trade is prioritised.

Sarah Wakefield
Sustainable Sourcing & Fairtrade Manager

Read more on Fairtrade at our Co-op;


Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Great idea to help others around the world. Always look out for fair trade products. Love my co op stores. Have two near me. Short drive to both. Staff are always very helpful too. Parking is good and free.

  2. It’s lovely to hear how buying Fair trade products really benefit the fair trade communities. I shall try to buy more of these products

  3. I purchase all possible Fairtrade Co-op items, however, I am sure there are more Fairtrade items my local Co-op could stock. I realise they are limited for space as it is only a small store, but swopping other makes for Fairtrade would not require additional shelf space. In similarity some Co-op own brand goods are not available, for example the plain digestive biscuits are not Co-op biscuits. I try to purchase all Co-op brand as the loyalty card purchases helps local causes of our choice.


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Communities around the world, Fairtrade, Food