2 January, 2017

Support a Fair Deal for Farmers in 2017

by Ian Brown, Fairtrade Canada

After the indulgences of the holiday season, many of us see the new year as a chance to think about how we want to improve our lives. When you’re making resolutions this week, think of how small changes to your purchases can make a big difference in the lives of producers around the world. 

Small positive commitments from you can mean a decent income, better working conditions and community investments for the 1.65 million farmers and workers who rely on Fairtrade. Choose one of our resolutions based on your current level of knowledge of Fairtrade, or go all-in and commit to all three!

Resolution #1: Commit to making one of your staple purchases always Fairtrade


What is the one item you can’t do without every time you shop? If it’s tea, coffee or chocolate, it couldn’t be easier to make the switch to Fairtrade - almost every grocery store carries at least one brand of each that is Fairtrade certified. Commit to making one of these staple purchases Fairtrade every time you buy it. Look for the FAIRTRADE Mark to be sure that what you’re buying meets our rigorous international standards.

When it comes to coffee, there are more than 120 licensees across Canada who offer Fairtrade coffee, from small roasters serving their local communities, to large companies selling in national retail chains. Whatever your preferred roast or country of origin, decaf or regular, ground or whole bean, even compostable individual serving pods, the Fairtrade coffee for you is out there. (Hint: because many Fairtrade coffees are also certified organic, you might have to look in the ‘Natural Products’ aisle at larger grocery stores.)

If, like me, you’re more of a tea drinker, there are still plenty of Fairtrade options for your daily cuppa – everything from Sri Lankan or African blends to single-estate Indian teas, with plenty of herbal options too.

If you have a sweet tooth, Fairtrade chocolate makes the perfect treat. And if it’s dark chocolate it can even fit in with other resolutions about eating healthier!

Resolution #2 - Take a chance – try a new Fairtrade product once a month

If you’re already regularly buying Fairtrade staples, did you know that there is a wide range of other Fairtrade certified items available on the market that also meet our rigorous international standards and help farmers and workers improve their families’ lives? Make a resolution to try one new Fairtrade certified product once each month to really get a sense of the good your purchases can do. Visit our database of registered brands to learn more about the companies who make all these items.

BananasThe FAIRTRADE Mark can be found on a wide range of other food products, including:

  • Bananas and other seasonal fruit and vegetables
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa powder and hot chocolate
  • Herbs, spices and sauces
  • Coconut milk
  • Wine

In addition, there is a growing number of non-food Fairtrade products, including:

  • Cotton
  • Cosmetics
  • Flowers
  • Sports Balls
  • Gold

Resolution #3 - Join a Fair Trade Program

Finally, resolve to take your commitment to Fair Trade one step further and find a way to get involved in your community. You can work towards a Fair Trade designation for your workplace, school, campus, town/city, faith group or event. Educate others about the difference that Fairtrade makes in the lives of farmers and workers around the world. Full details can be found on our Fair Trade Programs page.