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Can someone come and give a talk to my group?

We receive many requests every day and are unfortunately unable to accept every invitation. If you are a school or small local group, you may wish to check if there is a Fairtrade Town campaign in your area, and contact the local representative. Meanwhile, Traidcraft has a nationwide network of speakers. If you are a school, visit our Fairtrade Schools website for details of organisations and resource people you can contact. If you are a group working towards Fairtrade Town status, it may be possible for our Fairtrade Towns advisor, Bruce Crowther, to visit you or speak at your campaign launch. If you are holding a major event and wish to invite a Fairtrade Foundation speaker, please email us at mail@fairtrade.org.uk.

Are Fairtrade products fully traceable?

For most Fairtrade products including bananas, fresh fruit, coffee, flowers, nuts, rice, spices and others, the Fairtrade system requires these products to be physically traceable. This means they must be labelled and kept separate at every stage of their journey from the farm to the shop shelves. However, when we attempted to introduce similar rules for products such as cocoa, sugar, tea and juice, we discovered that there is very little physical traceability in the way these sectors work. For example, the chocolate industry is currently not always able to keep Fairtrade cocoa and non-Fairtrade cocoa separate at every stage of production from the cocoa field to the final bar. Cocoa beans are delivered in bulk by farmers and routinely mixed during shipping and in the manufacturing process. Rather than ruling out these sectors and losing Fairtrade sales opportunities for thousands of small farmers, Fairtrade has set up a system to ensure that manufacturers that want to use the FAIRTRADE Mark must buy the precise amount of produce they need from Fairtrade farmers that will be used in their final product. This system is known as ‘mass balance’.  So, if a chocolate bar uses 500 tonnes of cocoa, then the manufacturer must purchase 500 tonnes of cocoa on Fairtrade terms, including the payment of an additional $200 Fairtrade Premium per tonne. This means that even if the beans are later mixed with non-Fairtrade beans - as often happens - Fairtrade cocoa farmers still get 100 per cent of the benefits, and the better deal that the FAIRTRADE Mark stands for.  Our mission is to support farmers and workers in the developing world to increase their share in global trade. Fairtrade’s stringent inspection and audit system is in place to ensure the amount of Fairtrade product manufactured exactly matches the amount of Fairtrade product purchased.

What product categories does Fairtrade certify?

Fairtrade standards exist for the following products: Food products: - Bananas - Cocoa - Coffee - Dried Fruit - Fresh Fruit & Fresh Vegetables - Honey - Juices - Nuts/Oil Seeds/Oil - Quinoa - Rice - Spices - Sugar - Tea - Wine Non-food products: - Beauty products - Cotton - Cut Flowers - Ornamental Plants - Sports Balls - Gold - Platinum - Silver

Where can I buy Fairtrade products?

See our Buying Fairtrade page. You’ll find Fairtrade products in supermarkets, independent shops, cafés, restaurants, through catering suppliers and wholesales, as well as online. Also check out shops that are part of BAFTS (British Association of Fair Trade Shops) which often have product ranges not available in mainstream stores.

Are Fairtrade certified products also organic?

Not necessarily. Fairtrade standards require sustainable farming techniques and require higher prices to be paid for organic products. Moreover, Fairtrade Premiums are often used to train producers in organic and sustainable techniques like composting and using recycled materials, which can help them to convert to organic production in the future.

How many Fairtrade products in the UK are there?

Thousands! We have licensed over 4,500 Fairtrade certified products for sale through retail and catering outlets in the UK.

How do I visit a Fairtrade producer group?

Fairtrade International (FLO) has told us that farmers and workers groups are receiving increasing numbers of requests to host visits from the general public. Many groups regret that they are unable to host visits because of their lack of resources and the disruption caused to their work. If there is a clear and definite positive outcome for the producer organisation such as media coverage or project funding arising from a visit, we would be happy to discuss your needs - please get in touch. A growing number of Fairtrade certified producer groups are diversifying into tourism as an alternative source of income. They include: Africa South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia: The PASEO Programme helps farmers develop tourism as an additional source of income. The programme has three initial tours with more to follow: Orange Tour to Zebediele Citrus Estate in Limpopo Province, South Africa,Coffee Tour to Kilimanjaro Native Co-operative Union (KNCU) in Tanzania and Coffee Tour to Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union in Ethiopia Tanzania: Kahawa Shamba means ‘Coffee Farm’ in Swahili. Set in the beautiful foothills of Kilimanjaro, on a ridge overlooking the Weruweru Gorge, Kahawa Shamba is a community-based project half-owned by KNCU, a Fairtrade certified coffee co-operative.  The project was implemented to bring in extra income via tourism to the small-scale coffee farmers in the area and was developed by Tribes along with partners Cafédirect, the charity Twin and the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). Asia India: Makaibari Tea Estate in Darjeeling hosts tourists. Central and South America Nicaragua: Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign organises study tours including visits to Fairtrade coffee producer groups. Costa Rica:  Coope Santa Elena is one of nine coffee co-operatives that are members of the Coocafe Co-operative Union. They have a visitor programme and support local study tours. Ecuador: El Guabo Banana Growers’ Co-operative. ‘The real Ecuador experience. An opportunity to meet local people, learn about Fairtrade and organic banana production and to experience real life at the plantation.’ Email: marco.valle@asoguabo.com.ec Telephone:+593(0)9 432 7740. Mexico: US coffee company Higher Grounds Trading Co. organises customised tours to visit Fairtrade coffee co-ops in Chiapas. Belize: The Toledo Ecotourism Association runs guesthouses and walks in small communities where farmers sell their cocoa under Fairtrade terms. All countries Traidcraft organises ‘People to People Tours’ that include visits to their fair trade producer partners. Please note that the Fairtrade Foundation claims no responsibility for these independent projects.

How does Fairtrade labelling work with composite products?

Many Fairtrade products, such as coffee, tea, flowers, sugar and rice are 100 per cent Fairtrade. However there are other products, such as cakes, biscuits, ice cream and chocolate, in which the ingredients are a mixture of Fairtrade ingredients from developing countries (such as sugar, cocoa, honey and vanilla) and ingredients sourced more locally from UK or European farmers (such as milk, flour or eggs). These are known as ‘composite products’. To take account of this, the Fairtrade Foundation has developed requirements for where and how the FAIRTRADE Mark may be used based on Fairtrade International policy. The main principles of these requirements are: - 100 per cent of any ingredient that can be Fairtrade certified, must be Fairtrade certified. - Any product may carry the FAIRTRADE Mark if more than 50 per cent of its total ingredients (calculated by dry weight) are sourced from Fairtrade certified producer organisations. - If the total Fairtrade certified ingredient content is less than 50 per cent, the product may still be eligible if it has one significant Fairtrade ingredient that represents more than 20 per cent of the product’s dry weight. An example of a significant ingredient might be an orange juice drink made of 20 per cent Fairtrade certified orange juice and the rest water. More information about product certification and these requirements can be found in the Fairtrade standards. Download the Fairtrade International Composite Policy

How much of the price we pay for Fairtrade products goes back to the producers?

Whatever the price of the product on the shelf, only the FAIRTRADE Mark ensures that the producers have received what is agreed as a fairer price, as well as the Fairtrade premium to invest in the future of their communities. The Fairtrade price applies at the point where the producer organisation sells to the next person in the supply chain (usually an exporter or importer). It is not calculated as a proportion of the final retail price, which is negotiated between the product manufacturer and the retailer. You can read a fuller explanation here: Retail pricing of Fairtrade products.

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