500 words approx. 4-5 minutes to read.
From the bananas on your porridge to the chocolate in your brownies, choosing Fairtrade products is the easiest way to guarantee a better deal for the world’s most disadvantaged growers and small-scale producers. Michael Fletcher, Co-op’s chief commercial officer, shares why choosing Fairtrade is the future.
What does Fairtrade actually mean?
Fairtrade is more than a logo – it’s a movement. Fairtrade certification guarantees that producers receive payment that always covers the cost of sustainable production and an additional premium to support producer development programmes.
The Fairtrade standard uses minimum pricing, a premium social standing and a voice for producers and campaigners to fight unfairness and inequality in supply chains all around the world.
What sets Fairtrade apart from other ethical labelling?
The truth is that no other certifications come close to Fairtrade when considering worker welfare. While other certifications are still beneficial, Fairtrade is the only certification that ensures the price paid for this year’s crop is sufficient for farmers to continue to occupy the land their livelihoods rely on. It’s so important to understand this difference that sets Fairtrade apart.
What can I buy that’s Fairtrade certified?
We’ve worked closely with Fairtrade to understand their seven core categories: bananas, tea, coffee, sugar, cocoa, wine and roses. This is where Fairtrade can make the most difference to farmers.
All the cocoa, bananas, coffee, tea and bagged sugar Co-op sells is Fairtrade, all the African roses we sell are Fairtrade, and we are the world’s biggest convenience retailer for Fairtrade wine.
But we go even further than this. We ensure that when cocoa, bananas, tea and coffee are used as ingredients in our products, they’re Fairtrade too. So you can enjoy a Fairtrade Co-op chocolate bar, but also a Fairtrade chocolate chip in our cookies!
To understand more about this, and to see how we source Fairtrade cocoa, watch the video below:
You can read more from our producers on what Fairtrade means to them on our website.
How does Fairtrade make a difference?
It’s so easy for shoppers to make their own significant difference by choosing Fairtrade.
Take coffee, for example. Less than 4% of coffee farmers are guaranteed a “fair price”, and 24 million coffee growing families will not get paid enough money for their crop to survive through to the next harvest. Just under 100 million cups of coffee are consumed in the UK each day. If all coffee bought was certified Fairtrade, £40m in Fairtrade premium (a 500% increase), could be going to help farming communities across the world. A Fairtrade price means everything to coffee growers, but costs consumers very little – it’s less than 2 pence* per cup.
That’s a small price to pay to ensure the growers of our coffee can stay in the land they’ve farmed for generations – and can do so for years to come. My ask is that consumers seek out Fairtrade when buying their cup of coffee on the way to work or when out shopping, and if it’s not Fairtrade, ask that retailer or coffee shop why. It’s a simple stand to take, but one that could change lives.
Find out more about the positive benefits of buying Fairtrade in the Understanding Fairtrade episode of the In It Together podcast, brought to you by Co-op.
Chief commercial officer
Read more about Fairtrade at Co-op:
- We’re celebrating 25 years of Fairtrade
- Members pledge their support for a Fairtrade future
- Buying Co-op Fairtrade saves lives. Here’s how you can help.
*Difference between market price ($1) and Fairtrade Price and Premium ($1.40 + 20c = $1.60) is $0.60 a pound. Market price 80p. Fairtrade price and premium £1.30 = 48p /pound