Fair Trade – what's current

Fairtrade and cocoa
Cocoa is one of the fastest growing products in Fairtrade with global sales doubling in 2010.  More than 120 companies now sell over 500 Fairtrade chocolate confectionery products. For more

The Chocolate Industry, child labour and slavery

Chocolate, derived from the cacao bean, grows mainly in Western Africa, Asia and Latin America. West African countries, particularly Ghana and the Ivory Coast, supply more than 70% of the world’s cocoa. Sadly, in recent  years, organisations and journalists have uncovered the widespread use of child labour and in some cases, slavery, on cocoa plantations in West Africa. For more

Fairtrade wines South Africa

South Africa is the largest producer of Fairtrade wine in the world: two thirds of the 27 million bottles of Fairtrade wine sold in 2013 were produced in SA and about 5% of the local wine grape production is Fairtrade certified. There are currently 28 certified wine grape producers with over 68 farms, employing over 2 500 farm workers. For every Fairtrade bottle of wine bought, 70 cents go to the farm workers. For more

Fair Trade and Fairtrade explained
Fair Trade (two words) refers to the concept of ethical trading and therefore refers to all initiatives (including craft and tourism) that work to achieve it.
Fairtrade (one word) is the leading fair trade movement in the agricultural sector. Its name and brand (the FAIRTRADE Label) are owned by Fairtrade International and only companies certified against Fairtrade Standards can use it and apply the label on their products. click here

Kenya gets a new Living Wage Benchmark

Fairtrade has co-published a fourth regional living wage study, co-funded by UTZ Certified and Sustainable Agriculture Network/Rainforest Alliance (SAN/RA). The report sets a new living wage benchmark for the Naivasha region of Kenya. The study estimates living wage in comparison to wages paid in the flower sector in semi-urban Naivasha. The benchmark will also be adapted to set a living wage level for rural Kenya. Read more

Fairtrade Producers at COP20 calling for climate change action now
Fairtrade producer networks are urging governments to provide more support to smallholder farmers in fighting the harsh and increasing effects of climate change on their livelihoods. Read more 

History repeating itself? The Need for Wage-Rich Prices

16 December 2014
There is a growing momentum amongst companies and campaigners to deliver living wages in global supply chains. However the arguments against this echo arguments made nearly two hundred years ago when the British parliament was debating a law to outlaw child labour. The argument was that if the law was passed, many people would lose their jobs and a number of young people would have to rely on charity. They argued that it was better to employ large numbers of children for low wages and poor working conditions, than offer them no work at all. So what is new when today the opponents of paying living wages say: it is better to provide employment at low wages than no employment at all? For more, click here

Fairtrade on the Road
December 2014
Fairtrade on the Road follows Fairtrade employees, producers and others as they crisscross the globe working to build relationships, fairer trade terms, and sustainable livelihoods. Catherine Klanjiku is one of 450 workers at Waridi Limited flower farm, Fairtrade certified since 2003, near Nairobi, Kenya. She works as the Fairtrade Premium Committee Administrator, supporting herself and her two-year-old daughter. To read her story, click here

Fairtrade Africa playing an active role in advocacy

11 December 2014
On the 1st October 2014, the import duty exemption for Kenyan cut flowers for markets in the European Union expired. An import duty of 8% was imposed on all Kenyan products. This was a blow for the Fairtrade cut flower industry. The Flowers Manager for Fairtrade Africa, Caleb Kiptoo and the Director of Programmes, James Mwai have been involved in a number of advocacy activities to speed up the signing of the European Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Kenya. As a result of the activities, there has been progress. The EU Delegated Act reinstating duty-free access for all Kenyan export to the EU market was adopted on 14 November 2014 by the EU College of Commissioners. To read more

Fairtrade Women in Coffee Project gets a boost

9 December 2014
Fairtrade Africa has announced that Big Lottery Fund has allocated a grant of £300,000 towards mainstreaming Gender and Youth involvement in Fairtrade-certified coffee value chains.  The project will be implemented over three years starting January 2015. For more, click here

Paving the Way for Africa's High-Tech Agricultural Revolution

Agriculture is reportedly employs the largest workforce in Africa and contributes about 25% of the GDP. What this shows, is that Africa has the potential not only to feed its own people, but to ensure food security around the world. African innovations are having a significant impact on agriculture, and mobile technology is radically changing the way the sector operates. For more

Problems in Fairtrade supply chains

18 November
In a recent blog post, Harriet Lamb, Fairtrade CEO, discussed how all those in the supply chain could and should contribute to paying producers a fairer price. She believes that this could be done without burdening consumers with the extra costs. Given the healthy profits being made at all levels of the supply chain, making slightly less in profits would release resources for farmers and reduce a concentration of power within the supply chain that has become open to abuse. For more

Fairtrade logo in Germany and Italy

Two National Fair Trade Retailers Networks, AGICES in Italy and Weltladen-Dachverband in Germany, were approved for the WFTP Logo in Spring 2014. To read more, click here

Boosting Fairtrade production and sales

In mid-October 2014 the chief executive of the Fairtrade Foundation announced a range of projects to boost Fairtrade production and sales of coffee, sugar, cocoa and cotton. To find out more, click here 

World Fair Trade Organisation:  A World’s First – 100% Fair Trade Chocolate Factory Opens in Christchurch

21 October 2014

Life in Christchurch, New Zealand is to become a whole lot sweeter with the opening of Trade Aid’s new chocolate factory in August. They will be the world's first Fair Trade Organisation to manufacture 100% Fair Trade organic chocolate.

Operating from a newly fitted out commercial factory in Christchurch, Trade Aid, will offer a range of chocolate bars, Easter Eggs and, further down the pipeline, filled chocolates. “Trade Aid will be the first Fair Trade Organisation actually making Fair Trade chocolate,” says Trade Aid CEO Geoff White.  More

Fairtrade International - Dangerous Ideas Wanted
21 October 2014

A post by Harriet Lamb, Chief Executive of Fairtrade International.

The ever-quotable Oscar Wilde said: ‘An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.’ 25 years ago, Fairtrade burst onto shop shelves with just such a dangerous idea: that farmers and workers in developing countries should be paid a fair price, that they needed a better deal – and that we, the companies and consumers, should pay for the true value of our cocoa, coffee or bananas. 

Fairtrade arose from the clear failings of free trade. When the International Coffee Agreement collapsed in 1989, prices went into wild fluctuations with terrible falls ‘to hell and back’ leaving farmers with prices so low, it wasn't even worth picking the coffee berries. Unregulated, global markets have become only ever more concentrated. For example: half of all coffee beans are purchased by just five companies, and just three companies control 90% of the world’s grain trade. So Fairtrade seeks to redress these imbalances and the resulting inequalities by organizing producers and consumers.  To find out more and about Harriet Lamb's recently updated book, Fighting the Banana Wars and other Fairtrade battles, click here

Fair Cotton Procurement Awards
The winners of the first-ever pan-European Award Scheme on Fair Cotton Procurement have shown that Fair Trade commitments made in the framework of different campaigns can be translated into real purchasing practices in support of cotton farmers and workers in the South. Find out more here

Producer Driven Service Delivery Begins to Take Shape

The 11th of June 2014 marked a significant day for African Fairtrade producers and workers! The day saw the Service agreement between Fairtrade Africa and Fairtrade International signed in Bonn, Germany. Read more

Read about the Fair Trade Beyond 2015 Campaign –
  Click here

Fair Trade housewarming at the European Parliament

8 October 2014 (Brussels) –

The European Parliament Fair Trade Working Group hosted a Fair Trade Breakfast today. Large numbers of renowned and new Members of the European Parliament attended in support of Fair Trade, marking a successful start to the new legislative term.

Linda McAvan, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Development and of the Fair Trade Working Group, welcomed the 50 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all major political groups, officials from Permanent Representations of European Union Member States, as well as Fair Trade movement actors and network representatives. For more click here

Fair trade principles

17 October 2014

What are the guiding principles of Fair Trade?  The World Fair Trade Organisation has identified 10 main principles that Fair Trade Organisations must follow in their day-to-day work and carries out monitoring to ensure these principles are upheld. What are these principles?  Read more

Have you heard of the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation?

The Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation seeks to contribute towards eliminating poverty through undertaking original research and engaging with communities to develop and advance innovative approaches to strengthening livelihoods. Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation is a non-profit organisation and registered Section 21 (not-for-gain) company under South African law. Their vision is to support the emergence of sustainable livelihoods on the African continent through empowering communities as well as individuals with knowledge and understanding, practical ideas and self-belief for their social protection and advancement. They seek to enhance opportunities for development through shaping policy and practice and through our own programmes working with local communities at the grassroots level. Read more
Fairtrade Africa has contracted Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation to develop an impact assessment policy of Fairtrade Labelling Organization (FLO) certification and support for African Fairtrade producers and workers.  More...

Fairtrade markets in Africa
Where are the Fairtrade markets in Africa? Currently two countries sell Fairtrade products: South Africa nad Kenya. [read more]

Making sure you are buying FAIRTRADE products - the FAIRTRADE mark
The FAIRTRADE Mark is recognised by consumers around the world as the leading social and sustainable development Mark. It inspires trust in consumers around the world that their purchase improves the lives of people and communities in developing countries. The FAIRTRADE Mark can be found on a wide range of products - numbering over 27 000 around the world - including food and drinks, cotton and clothing, and even jewellery made from FAIRTRADE gold and other precious metals. Join millions around the world who buy FAIRTRADE products - find out more here

Fair trade and flowers

The cut flower trade is a major industry in both developing and developed countries, with global trade estimated to be worth more than $100 billion a year. The industry is becoming increasingly important to the economies of developing countries, bringing in vital foreign exchange for investment in economic development. Most flowers are produced on commercial farms and provide employment opportunities and improved livelihoods for millions of worker. The flower industry employs a largely female workforce of poor, less educated and therefore vulnerable workers. It has had a reputation for poor working conditions, including low pay, over-crowded housing and repression of trade unions. Over the past years, however, conditions have vastly improved for workers in many countries, but there are still challenges. Read more

What's new in Fair Trade
Fairtrade Africa has won the first world cup. Kibinge Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd, scooped the first prize in the first-ever international Fairtrade Awards. 
To read more about this exciting achievement, click here