Fairtrade Fortnight 24th Feb to 9th March
Fairtrade Fortnight is 24th Feb to 9th March
What is Fairtrade?
The Fairtrade Foundation describe fairtrade in the following terms...
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.
Products with the FAIRTRADE Mark must meet international Fairtrade standards. These are set by the international certification body Fairtrade International (FLO). These standards are agreed through research and consultation with members of the Fairtrade scheme, including farmers and workers themselves, traders, NGOs, academic institutions and labelling organisations such as the Fairtrade Foundation.
The Fairtrade minimum price is the minimum price that a buyer of Fairtrade products has to pay to a Producer Organisation for their product.
It is not a fixed price, but should be seen as the lowest possible starting point for price negotiations between producer and purchaser. It is set at a level which ensures that Producer Organisations receive a price which covers the cost of sustainable production for their product. This means it also acts as a safety net for farmers at times when world markets fall below a sustainable level. However, when the market price is higher than the Fairtrade minimum,the buyer must pay the market price.
Producers and traders can also negotiate a higher price, for example on the basis of quality, and forsome products, Fairtrade International (FLO) also sets different prices for organic crops, or for particular grades of produce.
The standards also allow producers to request partial pre-payment of the contract. This is important for small-scale farmers’ organisations as it ensures they have the cash flow to pay farmers at the time they deliver their crop. Buyers are also required to enter into long-term trading relationships so that producers can predict their income and plan for the future.
For a product to display the FAIRTRADE Mark it must meet the international Fairtrade standards.
Fairtrade International (FLO) sets and maintains the Fairtrade standards that producers and trading relationships must meet. FLO is owned jointly by 21 national labelling initiatives covering 22 countries and producer networks. These networks represent certified farmers and worker organisations across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. FLO sets standards and works with farmers and workers to help them meet the requirements; a separate certification company (FLO-CERT) regularly inspects and certifies producers against these standards.
All producers, processors and exporters in the producer country are certified by FLO-CERT. The products of importers and companies in the supply chain outside of the producer country are certified either by FLO-CERT or by the local labelling Initiative. The Fairtrade Foundation is responsible for certifying Fairtrade products in the UK. See For Business for more information.