15 August, 2019

What are the Fairtrade Standards?

ACSC co-operative in Kyrgyzstan
by Stefan Donnelly

When you buy a Fairtrade product, you expect the farmers and workers who produced it to have received a fair price. But did you know about the list of requirements, called the Fairtrade Standards, covering workers’ rights, environmental protection, gender and transparency, that also have to be met?

Fairtrade sets social, economic and environmental standards for both companies and the farmers and workers who grow the food we love. For companies these Standards include payment no lower than the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community projects of the community’s choice. For farmers and workers, the Standards include various requirements to ensure product quality and environmentally sound farming practices.

The Fairtrade Standards play a vital role promoting sustainable development around the world. And the most recent update has seen them become stronger. Here's the latest on how Fairtrade is getting even better.

Fairtrade Standards tackle the climate crisis

Taking action to reduce carbon emissions is now a requirement for all Fairtrade farmers. Access to water and good farming land are vitally important for many communities striving to improve their quality of life across the world. As the rapidly changing climate makes fair access to these resources even more challenging, we’ve made reducing water waste and taking action to prevent soil erosion even more central to our Standards.

This benefits not just the long-term health of our planet, but also thousands of farmers working hard to escape poverty.

Empowering women through Fairtrade Standards

One in five Fairtrade farmers are women, as are almost half of the workers in the Fairtrade system. Fairtrade can be a really powerful tool in tackling gender discrimination.

And to make Fairtrade even more effective in empowering women, our new Standards introduce a gender policy. Each co-operative will develop this independently, to make sure it works in their local area. But every policy will be aiming to make sure girls and women can participate equally in Fairtrade and access all its benefits.

Increasing transparency on Fairtrade Premium payments

On top of the price farmers and workers receive for their produce or labour, they receive an extra sum of money to invest in improving the quality of their lives. This extra sum of money is called the Fairtrade Premium. Farmers and workers decide democratically how to spend these Fairtrade Premium payments, which are generated every time you buy Fairtrade.

The latest update to the Standards makes this process even more transparent, and helps make sure all Fairtrade Premium funds are used in the most efficient way.

In future all Fairtrade co-operatives will have a scrutiny committee which will monitor projects funded by Fairtrade Premiums. Their efforts will help make sure the community gets the maximum possible benefit from their well-earned Premium.

More rights for Fairtrade workers

On slightly larger Fairtrade farms, often it’s the workers employed by farmers who do some of the toughest work. That’s why our new Standards give more rights to those workers, including making sure they have safe working conditions, access to clean water and all the rights they are entitled to.

These are Fairtrade Standards for farmers and workers, by farmers and workers.

We've only made these changes after long and serious consultations with over 600 Fairtrade co-operatives around the world. We need to be sure any changes to our Fairtrade Standards act to help farmers and workers escape poverty faster, while allowing their communities to develop sustainably and while protecting their local environment.

To avoid putting too much burden on small farmers, these changes will be introduced gradually over the next few years.

We hope our constantly improving Fairtrade Standards give you the confidence that we're never going to stop trying to make Fairtrade work even better for Fairtrade farmers, workers and their local communities and environment.

So next time you’re reaching for a Fairtrade cup of coffee, or bottle of wine, enjoy the taste of top-quality products meeting our Standards and feel even more confident that when you buy Fairtrade you're doing your bit not just to protect our planet, but to change it for the better.

Find out more about the Fairtrade Standards


You might also like

  7 Common Misconceptions about Fairtrade   7 things people get wrong about Fairtrade

Most people are familiar with Fairtrade, so why do the same misconceptions about what it is and how it actually works keep cropping up?


 Follow Fairtrade on social media - social media logos Follow us on social media

Support Fairtrade when you follow, share or like our social posts.


 Sign up to Fairtrade email - email image thumbnail

Sign up to emails

 

Sign up to email updates from Fairtrade to hear about products, petitions, competitions and more.



Fairtrade Blog

Archive

Syndication