Fairtrade's 30th anniversary banner

We’re celebrating 30 years of Fairtrade in the UK

It’s 30 years since the first Fairtrade certified products hit supermarket shelves. Since then, Fairtrade has not only pioneered a unique, more equitable way of doing trade – and shown how it makes a tangible difference – it has become the world’s most recognised and trusted ethical label.

Behind that label, a global community of millions has been working towards more responsibly produced and fairly priced goods, as part of a fairer world for everyone. That includes more than 2 million farmers and workers in 58 countries, supply chain partners, some of our most loved brands of tea, coffee and chocolate, and towns, cities, schools, places of worship and supermarkets.

Through the strength of Fairtrade’s community, millions of Fairtrade farmers have secured a fairer price for what they grow. Workers have been able to improve their living standards. Fairtrade sets off a ripple effect that has seen children go to school and university, women take the lead and reforestation projects supported.

Despite this success, our global food system still isn’t fair. Farmers are part of a chain in which power is unfairly distributed. They are frequently forced to sell their crops for less money than they cost to grow. The climate crisis is making conditions more and more challenging for farmers like Jaime.

Meet Jaime Alberto García Flórez, a coffee farmer from Colombia

He works hard on his farm in the North of Colombia and worries about the future of coffee.

We live from coffee. We fight for coffee so that we can have this tradition in the future for our children… we are in danger because of climate change. It’s really here. The temperature is too high so we have had to replace coffee with cocoa and plant trees between our remaining coffee bushes to give them shade. We are the first generation to feel the change and the last generation to be able to change it.

Jaime Alberto García Flórez, coffee farmer from Red Ecolsierra Co-operative, Colombia
Jaime Alberto García Flórez, a coffee farmer from Red Ecolsierra Co-operative in the Sierra Nevada region of Colombia standing next to a tree
Jaime Alberto García Flórez, coffee farmer from Red Ecolsierra Co-operative in the Sierra Nevada region of Colombia © Chris Terry 2024

With support from Fairtrade, farmers in Jaime’s co-operative are learning new ways to produce more sustainable, more eco-friendly coffee that could help save future production.

They practice dynamic agroforestry like planting shade trees to boost soil quality and weather the climate challenges like higher temperatures. The co-operative has invested in improving coffee harvesting and drying, carried out a wastewater decontamination project, and provided training to members of the co-operative.

They’ve also improved their access to international markets by building an administrative headquarters, as well as collection centres for their members’ coffee. In the community, they’ve funded education for members’ children.

Global shocks such as the pandemic and conflict are exposing the fragility of our supply chains. All this threatens not just farmers’ livelihoods, but the long-term availability and affordability of our food. We need urgent change.

Farmers tell us that a fair price for their produce is the most important factor in improving their lives. A better price enables farmers to build resilience, adapt to climate change and withstand shocks. Farmers also need to help set the terms of trade to rebalance power in supply chains. But they can’t do it alone.

2024 is a year for celebration. We are proud of 30 years of standing with farmers for trade justice. But we all need to keep working together to build a fairer, more sustainable future for food production.

We’ll be marking three decades of Fairtrade at events and highlights throughout the year, from Easter chocolate and Glastonbury to Great Big Green Week and Fairtrade Fortnight.

The future is fair.

Be the Change. Choose Fairtrade in our 30th year – 8 ways to show your support

1. Choose Fairtrade

With thousands of Fairtrade products now available in the UK from the staples; bananas, coffee, chocolate, tea to the more unusual; flowers, bedding, gold – always choose Fairtrade and if you can’t find it in store, ask why, to show that there is a growing demand for Fairtrade products.

2. Sign the Petition: Protecting Forests with Fairtrade Farmers 

In 2024, the UK Government has pledged to move forward with new laws aimed at preventing deforestation connected to the goods we buy from overseas.

Jaime’s love for his land means he understands the importance of protecting the environment he farms in and he’s already taking action by practicing forest-friendly farming techniques and planting shade trees.

But Jaime’s vital work and meeting these new laws will cost money. Without a fairer trade system and the government climate funding that has been promised, but not yet delivered, the future of farmers like Jaime are at risk.

Tell our government to deliver their promised funding and ensure legal changes to tackle deforestation do not place the burden on farmers like Jaime.

3. If you’re a business selling Fairtrade products

Support us this anniversary year by talking about your brand’s Fairtrade story on your channels – take a look at our 30th anniversary guidance document for campaigners and businesses below.

Or work with us to grow purchase through exciting in-store and online activations this Fairtrade Fortnight (September 9 – September 22, 2024) asking shoppers to BE THE CHANGE and choose Fairtrade. Get in touch if you are interested in getting involved.

4. Sign up to our email

When you sign up to receive emails, you’ll get to hear about our latest campaigns, events and products, helping you to live more sustainably and giving you the tools to support Fairtrade and be a part of the Fairtrade movement.

5. Follow and share on social media

Join us on social media and share your own favourite Fairtrade products and speak about the impact Fairtrade has. Every person who chooses Fairtrade is making a difference to the lives of farmers and workers around the world.

Remember to tag @fairtradeuk and use the hashtag #ChooseFairtrade

6. Fundraise for Fairtrade

Fairtrade is a charity. When you fundraise for Fairtrade you are contributing to making the world a fairer place. From coffee mornings to running marathons, supporters across the UK are finding fun and creative ways to raise money for Fairtrade. Fundraising activities can also be a great way to raise awareness about Fairtrade.

7. Join a local Fairtrade community group

With over 10,000 local campaigning groups, including Towns, Schools, Universities and Faith Groups, there are lots of ways to get involved with Fairtrade in your community.

8. Be a Fairtrade advocate

Every person who buys a Fairtrade certified product is helping to make the world a fairer place. Tell your friends, family and colleagues about Fairtrade and why it is so important. You’ll be making your own impact even greater!

Finally, thank you!

Thank you for being part of the Fairtrade movement and for celebrating this 30th anniversary with us. Fairtrade would not be what it is today, without your support.

Assets and resources