Fairtrade coffee farmer hands

Annual report 2021: the difference Fairtrade made

We’re delighted to share the Fairtrade Foundation Annual Report 2021 with you. Here are seven ways Fairtrade made an impact for farmers and workers around the world.

There are huge challenges to overcome, certainly, but there are really positive signs of progress… which fill me with hope.

Michael Gidney, Chief Executive, Fairtrade Foundation

Bringing Fairtrade to COP26

Image of Fairtrade cocoa farmer with illustrations and quote about impact of climate change.

Fighting for climate justice is a big part of what we do. The UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 (COP26) in Glasgow was a golden opportunity for Fairtrade farmers to represent the farming communities around the world on the frontline of the crisis.

Cocoa farmer Bismark Kpabitey, from Ghana’s Ahafo region, spoke at COP26 about how Fairtrade is a tool for climate change resilience. Fairtrade farmers called on rich nations to come good on their climate finance promises. More than 30,000 people in the UK signed the Be fair with your climate promise petition backing their demands.

Supporting flower workers through the COVID-19 pandemic

Image of Fairtrade flower grower with quote about how Fairtrade helped during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic devastated flower supply chains across the world. But for some there was some relief.

One Fairtrade project supported 6,000 Kenyan flower workers with health packages, kitchen gardens for food security, and training to boost job opportunities. Farmers and workers also used their Fairtrade Premium – the extra money they receive to invest in projects of their choice – to support communities through the crisis.

Better wages in bananas

Infographic showing impact of Fairtrade for banana workers in 2021.

Fairtrade banana workers already benefit from better working conditions and Fairtrade Premium projects. However the Covid-19 pandemic left millions in agriculture even more vulnerable.

In July 2021, we launched the Fairtrade Base Wage. It goes further to ensure living wages for all banana workers on Fairtrade-certified farms.

Shoppers are checking out Fairtrade

Infographic showing how sales of Fairtrade products generated £25.2 million in 2021.

In 2021, sales of Fairtrade products in the UK generated £25.2 million (€30m) for farmers and workers to invest in their businesses and communities.

The Fairtrade Premium is an extra sum of money farmers and workers can invest in community or business projects of their choice.

Partnerships mean progress

Infographic of two hands showing impact of partnership working for Fairtrade.

Commercial partnerships play a major part in the impact of Fairtrade. Without the support of forward-looking businesses, farmers would be worse off.

In 2021, despite a challenging situation including the ongoing pandemic, a number of partners committed to sourcing more Fairtrade. This means more money going into farming communities. This included:

  • Greggs using Fairtrade cocoa in their own-brand brownies, cookies and shortbread
  • Aldi’s new Choco Changer bar
  • Co-op’s baby cherry tomatoes

More companies committed to working with Fairtrade through programmes, too. Take Mondelēz. Our partnership with them in 2021 means that we’re supporting 22,500 cocoa farmers in Ghana to protect their families and crops from the worsening climate crisis.

Making the ethical choice

Fairtrade is still the most recognised and trusted ethical certification in the market. (Globescan, 2021) 

More and more, sustainability and ethics matter to shoppers. And they are acting on it through their support of Fairtrade.

Choosing the world we want to see

Fairtrade continues to be a people-led movement for change, keeping up the demand for trade justice throughout the year.

  • In February 2021, the virtual Fairtrade Fortnight festival showcased more than 100 online events.
  • Around 76,000 people viewed our schools films.
  • More than 800 young people entered our youth exhibition, creating poems, artworks and creative expressions of the world they wish to see.
  • In June, we brought Fairtrade supporters together with farmers and workers as part of the Waves of Hope for the G7 summit.
  • During the first Great Big Green Week in September 2021, more than 3,000 Fairtrade campaigners contacted their MPs calling for farmers to be involved in spending climate finance.
Schoolchildren taking part in a Fairtrade event
Schoolchildren taking part in a Fairtrade event.

Leading the way for a fair future

At Fairtrade, we say thank you for your support in 2021. Together we can continue making sure that the future is fair.

Find out more