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 50per cent 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.
Fairtrade advocates for thriving farmer and worker communities that have more control over their futures. We stand in solidarity with producer organisations, 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.
Our global system is unique in that farmers and workers are equal partners with the certifying bodies. Producers have 50 per cent 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.
For most Fairtrade commodities, there is a Fairtrade Minimum Price which is set in a manner that it covers 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.
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.
The best-in-class Fairtrade Standards are designed to support the sustainable development of small producer organisations and agricultural workers.. 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 organisations and their workers. The entire Fairtrade supply chain is independently audited to ensure compliance with the Standards.
Fairtrade certification makes a significant difference to the lives of farmers and workers, their families, and their wider communities.