The difference that Fairtrade makes

Emerging evidence through impact assessments has found that Fairtrade certification can make a significant difference to farmers’ and workers’ lives.

Achieving development impact is a long-term process and results vary significantly based on regional context, product and supply chain specifics and external factors

Economic impact

  • Fairtrade standards are helping to build stronger cooperativesThrough the minimum price requirement, Fairtrade is helping certified farmers growing products such as cocoa, coffee, tea and bananas become more income-secure and less vulnerable to poverty
  • In many key commodity sectors, Fairtrade certification enables farmers to negotiate a higher price for their product than the conventional market price
  • Additional income through the Fairtrade Premium is supporting better farming, strong cooperatives, investment in collective assets, local infrastructure and helping communities plan for the future

Environment impact

  • Fairtrade can provide access to finance, producer support and expertise in tackling climate change, supporting long-term environmental sustainability
  • Fairtrade improves access to agricultural services like organic training and premium markets. As a result farmers have an incentive to farm better and sell more. 
  • The Fairtrade Premium has also been invested in agricultural equipment or techniques to improve crops and yields 

Social impact

  • Fairtrade premium has improved housing for plantation workers in ColombiaFarmers and workers who choose to participate in Fairtrade often feel a real sense of control over their future with greater power and voice.
  • Fairtrade is gradually empowering communities by helping them organise into cooperatives and improve their negotiating position within the supply chain. 
  • Fairtrade can provide producer support and expertise in deepening gender equality
  • For workers employed on Fairtrade certified plantations, investments made through the Fairtrade Premium in education, better housing, better schools and medical facilities in worker communities is highly valued

  • Fairtrade can support workers to realise their rights and negotiate the terms and conditions of their work through trade unions and collective bargaining
  • Investment of the Fairtrade Premium by co-operatives in community development projects like improved health facilities and better access to education for children and adults is improving the quality of lives of rural communities