Fairtrade Cotton – Choose Products That Change Lives

Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. In August we enjoy the natural beauty of Fairtrade cotton. The FAIRTRADE Mark can be found on a growing number of textile products in Canada, including t-shirts, tote bags, baby clothes and accessories.

Farmers in the Global South have difficulty selling their cotton at sustainable prices because subsidies in countries such as China and the US mean markets are flooded with cheap cotton. Dangerous pesticide use and child labour are prevalent in many areas, while climate change is increasingly presenting a challenge to cotton farmers.

Fairtrade helps in many ways. The Fairtrade Standards prohibit child labour and regulate chemical use – Fairtrade cotton is often also certified organic. Training can be provided to ameliorate the effects of climate change.

The Fairtrade Minimum Price for cotton varies from region to region, but is intended to support sustainable production based on local conditions, no matter how low the international market drops. An additional Fairtrade Premium is paid which is invested by producers in farm and community improvements.

By selling Fairtrade cotton products, businesses are contributing to a more sustainable future for cotton farmers, their communities and the environment. And by buying them, consumers are choosing products that change lives. We encourage you to support our existing cotton licensees: Green Campus Co-op, glo and Oasis Bags. And why not ask other textile manufacturers to source Fairtrade cotton?

Producer Portrait


The Jat family – three generations of cotton farmers: Nitin (20), Chetan (42), and Bhagirata (72). They live in the village of Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh, India. © Max Havelaar-Foundation (Switzerland)

Nitin wants to continue Fairtrade cotton farming like the generations before him, but would like to also have a government job in the village so he can have an added source of income and pension (as did his grandfather).

  • Georgina Alazeena

    July 2017 - Choose Fairtrade cosmetics and personal care products for soft, healthy skin and hair

    Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. In July we focus on cosmetics and personal care products. The FAIRTRADE Mark can be found on a wide range of body care options, from lip balms and soaps to body lotions and scrubs.

  • Pakistan

    June 2017 - Play Fair With Fairtrade Sports Balls

    Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. With many sports seasons kicking off in June, we encourage you to play fair and look for the FAIRTRADE Mark when shopping for sports balls. You can find Fairtrade certified balls for soccer, volleyball, beach volleyball, basketball, football and rugby.

  • Mak Azmi

    May 2017 - Celebrate Fairtrade

    May is Fairtrade Month – a chance to celebrate Fairtrade’s achievements in Canada and around the world.

  • Carlos

    April 2017 - How Sweet is Fairtrade?

    Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. In April we focus on Fairtrade sugar and frozen treats.

  • Phawadee Suphansai

    March 2017 - Fairtrade Flavours!

    Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. In March we encourage you to look for the FAIRTRADE Mark when shopping for mouthwatering ingredients to use in the kitchen. From savoury soy-based sauces and creamy coconut milk to grains such as rice and quinoa, the delicious flavours of Fairtrade products are sure to make your dishes stand out.

  • Agnes

    February 2017 - Love Fairtrade!

    Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. This February we love the feeling we get when we spoil that special someone with Fairtrade certified flowers, chocolate, wine and gold. The feeling of knowing that your gift means as much to the farmers and workers behind it as it does to the person receiving it. Look for the FAIRTRADE Mark to be assured that your Valentine’s treats meet our rigorous international standards.

  • Jesús

    January 2017 - Fairtrade Coffee and tea

    Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. This January why not make a new year’s resolution to make your daily coffee or tea always Fairtrade? Look for the FAIRTRADE Mark when you’re shopping to make a difference in the lives of more than a million coffee and tea farmers and workers around the world. Read more about other Fairtrade new year’s resolutions on our blog. 

  • Fairtrade Category of the Month

    December 2016 - FAIRTRADE SUGAR, SPICES AND BAKING GOODS

    Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. This December, as winter gets underway, we’re looking forward to filling our homes with the delicious scents of freshly baked holiday goodies made using Fairtrade certified sugar, herbs, spices and other baking goods. Whether you’re making treats for your family gatherings, or dishes to bring to office potlucks, look for the FAIRTRADE Mark when shopping to be sure that your sweet and savoury ingredients make a difference to farmers and workers who are marginalized by trade.

  • Fairtrade Category of the Month

    November 2016 - FAIRTRADE FRUITS & VEGETABLES – MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR PRODUCERS

    Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. This November, we savour the lingering flavours of summer with delicious fruits and vegetables. While Fairtrade bananas are available in many parts of the country, dedicated Canadian companies are importing a wide variety of other fruits and vegetables to expand the market for Fairtrade produce and ensure a fair deal for farmers and workers.

  • Cocoa

    October 2016 - Fairtrade Cocoa – The Ethical Treat

    Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. Whether you’re shopping for ethical treats to hand out on Halloween, or an occasional indulgence for yourself, look for the FAIRTRADE Mark on your chocolate and other cocoa products this October. Buying Fairtrade makes a significant difference in the lives of cocoa farmers and their families around the world.

  • Coffee

    September 2016 - MAKE FAIRTRADE COFFEE AND TEA YOUR DAILY CHOICE

    Every month Fairtrade Canada puts the spotlight on one or more Fairtrade certified product categories. This September we encourage all Canadians to look for the FAIRTRADE MARK when buying coffee and tea. Making the ethical choice for your daily caffeine fix can make a significant difference in the lives of farmers and workers in countries around the world.