The Fairtrade Innovation Fund

Find out more about the difference your donation will make

'Before Fairtrade, I worked myself to exhaustion with no gain. Now my three sons are in high school, and I want to continue to sell my coffee at the Fairtrade price so I can provide them with a University education'
- Feliciano Lara Santana, coffee farmer, Dominican Republic

The Fairtrade Innovation Fund brings Fairtrade to more farmers, workers and their families in the developing world. This guarantees them a fair price for their work, safety from exploitation, and a little bit extra - the Fairtrade Premium - spent on vital community projects such as schools, hospitals and clean drinking water.

All of this means a stable life today, a safety net, and a brighter tomorrow. 

Donate now and enable some of the world's poorest people to work their own way out of poverty.

Learn more about the Fairtrade Innovation Fund...

How will my money be spent?
Donations to the Fairtrade Innovation Fund will be spent on work that brings Fairtrade to more farmers, workers and their families and communities in the developing world.

We do this by developing new Fairtrade products and working with farmers to enable them to sell on Fairtrade terms.

For example, donations are currently helping fund a project with cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire, Western Africa. Here, many lack access to education, healthcare, electricity and clean water, and children end up working on the farm rather than going to school. So it was already pretty serious when last year post-electoral violence led to widespread looting, destruction of farms, and, most alarmingly for farmers, a temporary export ban on cocoa. Desperate farmers sold their crop to opportunist traders (known locally as pisteurs) for around one third what they would normally get. 

Fairtrade is working hard to help farmers overcome these problems and get a fair deal. We're supporting farmers, making them stronger and training them to negotiate and fight for their rights so that they can take on the local pisteurs. The Fairtrade Innovation Fund is helping enable them to sell their cocoa on Fairtrade terms, offering a fair price so they can get back on their feet and invest in community projects, such as schools.
The need for Fairtrade

It's not fair.

We all know the statistics. 1.2 billion people in the world living on less than a dollar a day. Whole communities in make-shift housing, lacking schools and health services. And often, it's the small-scale farmers making the goods we consume here in the UK who face the worst conditions.

World trade rules and power structures play their part in stacking the odds ever higher. Rising food and fuel costs, an increasingly unpredictable climate and volatile prices mean that during a financial downturn, it's the poorest that suffer first, and worst.

At the same time, unstable commodity prices on the world market make it difficult for small-scale farmers to plan for the future. When prices drop too low, farmers earn less than it costs to run their farm. And when this happens they face real hardship, struggling to buy food or keep their children in school. When times get hard, there are no safety nets and all too often farmers risk losing their land and their livelihood.

So give now and help make lasting change.

Why Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is a lifeline for disadvantaged farmers and workers in the developing world.

Fairtrade transforms trading practices in favour of the poor and disadvantaged. We facilitate trading practices based on equity and justice, so that everyone, through their work, can have a decent livelihood and develop their full potential.

Fairtrade certification guarantees farmers:
  • A fair price for their product. So they will never be forced to sell their product at a price lower than it costs to produce.
  • Stable, longer-term trading relationships. So they can start to plan for the future.
  • Farm and community development. So they can build a secure livelihood.
  • The Fairtrade Premium. So they get a little bit extra and can decide for themselves how to improve their communities.
It's not about charity handouts. It's about giving people the chance to work their own way out of poverty, by ending the cycle that keeps people poor.

So give now and help make lasting change.
We've come a long way...
From buying Fairtrade products to campaigning for Fairtrade in their local communities, more and more people in the UK are demanding a fair deal for the people who produce the everyday goods we consume. Your support has helped Fairtrade go from strength to strength - from a niche product to the mainstream. In just ten years, the number of products carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark has grown from 80 to more than 5,000, and sales of Fairtrade products have increased more than twenty-fold.

This is great news - truly life-changing for Fairtrade certified farmers and their communities. In fact, there are now 1.2 million people benefitting from Fairtrade in the developing world.

The Fairtrade Innovation Fund has contributed to this success. In 2010, your donations were used to bring three major new products to consumers in the UK:
  • Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold from small-scale artisanal miners in South America
  • Fairtrade pulses from the first certified producers in Mongolia
  • Fairtrade vegetables from Kenya

This means that - thanks in part to your donations - three thousand more farmers and workers are now guaranteed a fair price and a stable livelihood.

Return to the top of the page

... but there's lots more to do
There are millions of farmers and workers still desperate for a fair price, for the opportunity to sell on Fairtrade terms. That's why we're determined to transform more lives. Donations to the Fairtrade Innovation Fund will help by funding projects on the ground, that work with farmers to address the problems trapping them in poverty.

So give now and help make lasting change.
Meet Cristoffer

The real focus: people

The Fairtrade Innovation Fund enables more farmers and workers from the developing world to get their products on the shelves and receive a fair price. People like Christoffer Makasa, a sugar cane farmer from Malawi.

Christoffer is quick to laugh and he smiles a lot. He lives a very active life even though, in any developed country, he would be a pensioner by now.

Cristoffer's co-operative, Kasinthula, has been Fairtrade-certified since 2004. Christoffer recalls how different his life was before Fairtrade.

'I have cultivated sugar cane since 1999 and in the beginning it was very hard. We got very little money for our work, and the houses in the villages where the farmers lived were very bad. Thanks to Fairtrade, we have gained access to an international market, and we get more money for our harvest.'

So far, the Fairtrade premium has been invested in drilling wells, repairing houses, improving the local clinic and to purchase bicycle ambulances. There has even been enough money to invest in the harvesting, helping to ensure that Christoffer and his family can look forward to a brighter future.

So give now and help more people like Cristoffer turn their lives around.

   Want to learn more about the difference Fairtrade can make?
Visit to learn straight from the farmers.

Be part of the change

And we'll show you the difference you make.

By donating to the Fairtrade Innovation Fund, you will join a growing number of people demanding a fair deal for the people who produce the goods we consume. From shoppers choosing Fairtrade in the supermarket, to campaigners pushing for change in their local communities, Fairtrade is a real example of people power making a real difference. You should be proud to be part of that movement.

To recognise the commitment you make, we promise to keep you in touch with our progress. If you sign up as a regular donor, we will send you honest reports twice a year on the progress made possible by the Fairtrade Innovation Fund. These will include stories from the front line of Fairtrade and profiles of the people your money has helped reach.

Return to the top of the page

Give now, and change the lives of more farmers, workers and their families in the developing world

Click here
 to return to our donate page