Fair trade is far from “finished”, as the millions of farmers, workers, companies and consumers who believe in making trade fair will testify. Fairtrade will only be finished when fair and equitable trade becomes the norm and not the exception.
Fairtrade certification has brought tangible benefits to farmers and workers all over the world. Achieving a better deal for farmers and workers in developing countries has always been, and always will be, at the heart of Fairtrade's mission.
Fairtrade is the only major independent global sustainability standard which provides an essential safety net for producers by setting minimum prices for major commodities. The Fairtrade Premium provides additional funds for farmers and workers to invest as they see fit. Fairtrade distributes more value back to farmers and workers, so they can get a fairer share of the benefits of global trade.
Since 2014, Fairtrade producers and farmers have received well over €500 million in premium money. From October 2019, Fairtrade is raising its minimum price and Fairtrade premium for conventional cocoa by 20 percent, and even more for organic cocoa. This will lift many cocoa farming households out of extreme poverty and is a further step towards a decent income.
At the same time, Fairtrade has never pretended it can solve global trading imbalances by itself, or that certification alone is the answer to the systemic poverty and other challenges in global supply chains. We therefore campaign to tackle the structural causes of unfair trade, bringing the voice of Fairtrade farmers, workers and consumers together in calling for change.
It is encouraging to see the important debate stimulated by this article. We hope it stimulates enthusiasm and commitment to improve the lives of farmers and workers around the world.
Article originally published on the Guardian Long Reads