What Is Fairtrade?

With one simple choice you can show solidarity with farmers and workers, help advocate for economic sustainability for all, and vote for trade justice with your wallet.

Overview

The power to change the world every day

Small-scale farmers and agricultural workers are among the most marginalized by the global trade system. At Fairtrade, they are at the heart of everything we do. As a certification system that is 50% governed by producers, we are building a model of trade that ensures better prices, decent working conditions, no child labour, sound environmental practices, and strong business relationships.

What is Fairtrade?

This short video shows how your everyday buying choices can improve working and living conditions in farming communities.

What Fairtrade Does

What makes Fairtrade different?

Fairtrade advocates for thriving farmer and worker communities that have more control over their futures. We stand in solidarity with producer organizations, without compromise, to our standards, prices, or vision to make trade work for everyone along the supply chain. Here is what sets us apart from other certifications.

Meeting with members of the APPBOSA cooperative

Producers have a strong voice in Fairtrade

Our global system is unique in that farmers and workers are equal partners with the certifying bodies in the Global North. Producers have 50 percent of the vote at our General Assembly, and they are always consulted during the process for establishing new standards, prices, and policies. The three regional Fairtrade producer networks play a prominent role on the Board of Directors at Fairtrade International, ensuring even greater representation.

Fairtrade Minimum Price

For most Fairtrade commodities, there is a Fairtrade Minimum Price which is set by product and region to cover the cost of sustainable production. This acts as a vital safety net for farmers and workers and protects them from drops in the market prices of the products they grow for a living. This protection ensures they can have an assured and stable income and plan for their future.

Justa More, also known as Dona Justa, poses with her granddaughter Leydi Jimena and the rest of her family in Saman, Peru.

Fairtrade Premium

The Fairtrade Premium is an additional sum of money that goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. Producers determine what is most important to them; whether this is education or health care for their children, improving their business, or building vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges for their community.

Fairtrade Standards

The best-in-class Fairtrade Standards are designed to support the sustainable development of small producer organizations and agricultural workers in the Global South. They incorporate a holistic blend of social, economic, and environmental criteria. The Standards contain both core requirements for certification, and development requirements that encourage producers to continuously improve, and to invest in the development of their organizations and their workers. The entire Fairtrade supply chain is independently audited to ensure compliance with the Standards.

The Impact Of Our Work

Fairtrade certification makes a significant difference to the lives of farmers and workers, their families, and their wider communities.

Fairtrade & Sustainability

Building strong economies in partnership with producers, fostering thriving communities, and living within the limits of what our environment can sustain.

Meet the Fairtrade Canada team

Fairtrade Canada is part of the global Fairtrade system that encompasses Fairtrade International, our parent organization, along with 3 regional producer networks, and other national organizations like ours in countries all over the world.

The FAIRTRADE Marks

The FAIRTRADE Mark is the symbol of the international Fairtrade system – and the most globally recognized independent ethical certification logo.

FAQs

Find answers to some of the questions that are frequently asked about Fairtrade.

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