Fairtrade Foundation marks 30 Year Anniversary with an urgent call for action

The Fairtrade Foundation has today published its 30th Anniversary Report, celebrating decades of transformative impact in ensuring that fair prices are paid to producers and farmers in lower income countries

The report also issues a call to action for businesses, campaigners and whichever party or parties forms the next UK government, following the general election, to address extreme climate challenges and promote fair trade practices.

Continuing commitments from businesses have played a crucial role in helping farmers to invest Premium funds into various projects, ranging from climate mitigation and healthcare to enhancing community welfare and farming productivity.

Working alongside farmers, workers, businesses, and consumers, Fairtrade supports more than 2 million Fairtrade producers to achieve better prices for their produce, meaning that, when you include family members and dependents, an estimated 10 million people benefit from sales of Fairtrade terms.

The report has examples of how livelihoods have been strengthened and lives transformed across the world since Fairtrade’s existence.

However, the world is far more insecure than it was in the mid-1990s. Climate change, global conflicts, and the pandemic have heightened threats to farmers’ livelihoods whilst simultaneously exposing the fragility of our shared food system.

The report notes that the UK is food insecure, importing almost half its food and approximately 16 percent from countries which are exposed to climate change and lack the capacity to adapt and respond. Environmental shocks in one part of the world can lead to empty shelves and food price inflation in our supermarkets, exacerbating the cost of living.

Extreme poverty and inequality in global agricultural communities, is made worse by the ongoing climate crisis and unfair trade prices. The vulnerability of farmers is also exacerbated by conflict in some parts of the world. There is an urgent need for immediate change, for the sake of producers’ livelihoods and for the availability and affordability of supermarket staples.

The report highlights Fairtrade’s work to promote living incomes and wages to ensure that farmers and workers can cover essential living costs for themselves and their families.

Farmers have adopted sustainable agricultural practices that have mitigated the impact of climate change on their crops and yields.

The report underscores Fairtrade’s advocacy for trade policy reform, effective regulation, and legislative action to address issues like deforestation. Initiatives such as pre-competitive collaboration through Fairtrade’s Shared ImPACT have set the stage for wider sectoral shifts and market changes.

Fairtrade acknowledges the group efforts that have driven awareness, changed attitudes, and built a global movement for fair trade. Now Fairtrade calls for continuous engagement and activism in addressing complex challenges like climate change and trade injustice.

  • In its urgent call to action, the Fairtrade Foundation extends its gratitude to advocates, campaigners, businesses, and the UK government for their contributions over 30 years and urges further action for:
  • Businesses: To increase Fairtrade sourcing commitments, work together on innovative approaches to sourcing that will support sustainability.
  • The next UK Government: Following the general election, to deliver a trade strategy that helps to meet development and climate objectives and take forward laws that address deforestation and human rights violations in supply chains, while supporting the needs of farmers.
  • Supporters and campaigners: To hold businesses and governments accountable and encourage more people to choose Fairtrade products in their supermarkets.

Mike Gidney, Fairtrade Foundation CEO, said: “Fairtrade is driven by a vision of a world where trade benefits both people and the planet.

“At the heart of Fairtrade’s ethos is a commitment to addressing the root causes of poverty and exploitation. By ensuring producers receive a fair price for their goods, Fairtrade enables them to invest in their families, communities, and futures. This investment is particularly crucial in the face of climate change, which poses additional challenges to agricultural livelihoods.

“Equally important is Fairtrade’s emphasis on equitable governance and representation. Producers are co-owners of the Fairtrade movement, ensuring their voices are heard at every level of decision-making. This sharing of power fosters a more resilient and inclusive supply chain, where dialogue and collaboration drive meaningful change.

“Looking ahead, we need to recognise the need for greater collaboration and urgency in addressing today’s complex challenges. By continuing to prioritise fair prices and equitable governance, we can build a future where trade truly works for everyone.”

Fairtrade Foundation urges all stakeholders to join hands in shaping a more sustainable and equitable world now and for future generations.


Notes to Editor

For more information and interviews please contact:
Martine Parry (Senior Media Lead)
M: 07886 301486 
E: Martine.Parry@fairtrade.org.uk

Available for interview:
• Mike Gidney, Fairtrade Foundation CEO
• Sandra Uwera, Fairtrade Foundation Global CEO
• Silvia Herrera, Mexican coffee farmer

Download the report and high-resolution images:
Fairtrade Foundation 30th Anniversary Report

Report key statistics and figures

Fairtrade Premium Impact:
• Globally, between 1994 and 2022, producers have shared an estimated £1.7 billion in Fairtrade Premium payments.
• M&S is the UK’s highest selling retailer for Fairtrade coffee and tea.
• Fairtrade Premium generated by Ben & Jerry’s products made up 4% of the global total in 2022.
• Clipper’s Fairtrade tea has resulted in £6.8 million in Fairtrade Premium.
• Fairtrade Premium has benefited coffee farmers like Henry Serrato Tuluaga from the ASPROTIMANA co-operative in Colombia.
• Matthew Algie, a company sourcing Fairtrade coffee for over 25 years, brought the first Fairtrade espresso to the UK market.

Fairtrade Foundation launches its campaign for living incomes:
• In October 2020, the governments of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire introduced the Living Income Differential on all cocoa sales. Ben & Jerry’s announces living income commitment for cocoa in its base mix.
• The 2024 World Banana Forum in Rome featured repeated calls for Fairtrade prices across the sector.
• Fairtrade’s partnership with Sainsbury’s and Fyffes ensures fair wages for workers and supports banana growers in Cameroon, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ghana and Panama.

Campaigns, Advocacy and Policy Influence:
• Fairtrade has worked with over 7,000 local Fairtrade groups and institutions in the UK, including more than 2,500 Fairtrade Schools and almost 4,000 Fairtrade Places of Worship.
• The Fairtrade Towns campaign has grown to over 2,000 communities worldwide since its launch in 2001.
• Producers contributed to COP26 climate negotiations and other Fairtrade events in Parliament and global summits.
• In 2022 and 2023, campaigners in all UK parliamentary constituencies called for global trade justice action.

Programs and Partnerships:
• In 2022, Fairtrade and Mars launched the Livelihoods Ecosystem Advancement Program (LEAP) to strive towards a living income for all cocoa farmers.
• LEAP works with more than 5,000 producers from four co-operatives in Côte d’Ivoire to support income diversification and access to financial services.
• The goal of LEAP is to support 70% of the participating producers to reach a living income by 2030.

Long-term Commitments:
• Ben & Jerry’s products contributed 4% of the global Fairtrade Premium total in 2022.
• Clipper has sold more Fairtrade tea than any other brand globally and generated £6.8 million in Fairtrade Premium, benefiting tea growers in Kenya and Sri Lanka.

Women’s Empowerment:
• Women make up 43% of agricultural workers in low-income countries. They produce 20-30% less than male farmers and workers due to barriers such as lack of formal land ownership and household duties.
• The Women’s School of Leadership in Côte d’Ivoire has graduated 265 women and men since 2017.

Research Initiatives:
The Sustainable Livelihoods Landscape Study by Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International’s global cocoa sustainability programme:
• provides cocoa farmers with strategies to tackle poverty
• calls for improved sector coordination
• increased support for marginalised farmers.

Producer Representation and Decision-Making:
• Fairtrade International’s General Assembly combines 50% producer representation with 50% national Fairtrade organization representation: Our general assembly and board
• The LEAP project involves producers at every stage of its implementation.
• LEAP in Côte d’Ivoire works with over 5,000 producers from four co-operatives and aims to support 70% of participating producers to reach a living income by 2030.

About the Fairtrade Foundation

Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions, and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in low-income countries.  Fairtrade International is an independent non-profit organization representing 2 million small-scale farmers and workers in low- and mid-income countries. It owns the FAIRTRADE Mark, a registered trademark of Fairtrade that appears on more than 30,000 products. Beyond certification, Fairtrade International and its member organisations – including the Fairtrade Foundations – support producers, partner with businesses, engage consumers, and advocate for a fair and sustainable future.