We work with government, parliament, business, civil society and other stakeholders to advocate for policies that will make trade fair.


Current Priorities

Other policy reports

Other policy submissions and consultation responses

Parliamentary newsletters

Current Priorities

Achieving living incomes for cocoa farmers

We are a nation of chocolate lovers – we each eat 8.4kg of chocolate on average every year. That’s more than any other European country, and demand is growing. Yet, despite chocolate being a booming business, the majority of cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana live in abject poverty. Our reports below outlines how governments, chocolate companies, traders, retailers and shoppers can help make living incomes a reality for these farmers:

The Invisible Women Behind our Chocolate (2020) 

Fairtrade Research Paper: Cocoa and the Invisible Women (2020) 

Craving a Change in Chocolate (2019)

Download our parliamentary briefing (2020)

Towards living wages and resilience in the flower industry

Based on learning from the ‘Building Resilience in Flower Supply Chains’ project, this paper has been jointly produced by a coalition of retail, academic and international development partners and puts forward recommendations for creating a more sustainable and resilient flower supply chain in Kenya and across East Africa. The recommendations draw on project research and activities carried out between August 2020 and June 2021 in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recommendations for building fairer, more sustainable and resilient flower supply chains in East Africa (2021, pdf)

The flower and plant industry is a hugely important source of hundreds of thousands of jobs in low-income countries, yet many flower workers are poorly paid and conditions are tough. This report summarises the challenges facing workers, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the role Fairtrade is playing to address both, and the ways in which we believe the flower industry and governments can work together to build back fairer. We look particularly closely at the importance of living wages.

Blooming Back Better (2021, pdf)

Brexit and fair trade

As the UK explores an independent trade policy, let’s make it fair.

The UK is about to renegotiate trade arrangements with a large number of countries around the world. This could have serious consequences for millions of jobs and livelihoods in very poor countries. Government must instead ensure that changes in trade arrangements lead to fairer trading relationships that help end poverty.

Delivering a ‘Fairtrade Brexit’ (2018)

Fairtrade Foundation report: Brexit: Let’s Change Trade for Good (2017)

Parliamentary briefings

Report on the impact of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on Fairtrade Triangular Supply Chains (2020)  

Briefing on Future Trade Policy (2020)

Briefing on the Trade Bill 2019-2021 – Report Stage (2020)

Briefing on the Trade Bill 2019-2021 – Second Reading (2020)

Briefing on the Agriculture Bill 2019-2021 – Second Reading (2020) 

Briefing on the Agriculture Bill 2019-2021 – Report Stage (2020)

Briefing on the Agriculture Bill 2019-2021 – Committee Stage (2020)

Briefing on the UK’s global tariff schedule consultation (2020)

Briefing ahead of Westminster Hall debate on ‘Trade deals and fair trade’ (2020)

Briefing on the Trade & Customs Bills, House of Lords (2018)

Briefing on the Trade & Customs Bills – Report Stage (2018)

Briefing for MPs ahead of second readings of the Trade & Customs Bills (2017/18)

Briefing outlining key trade & development issues relating to Brexit (2017)

Download our policy briefing and discussion paper (2016)

Climate Justice

Millions of producers worldwide are on the frontline of the climate emergency. They are among those who have contributed the least to the climate crisis, but are feeling its worst effects – including ever-growing threats to their livelihoods. The need for climate justice is at the heart of the Fairtrade movement. We want to see trade systems working to create a sustainable future for people and planet, and ensure that farmers and workers are properly supported – both to adapt to the effects of climate change and to transition to lower carbon production.

A Climate of crisis: farmers, our food and the fight for justice (2021)

We have produced a more detailed policy paper on trade and climate policy, looking at steps the UK government can take to support a green, sustainable future through trade.

How trade policy can support moves to a more sustainable, greener future (2021)

Covid-19 and building back fairer

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Fairtrade continues to work to advocate and support small-scale farmers and workers in developing countries. The farmers and workers Fairtrade serves are some of the most vulnerable and the least prepared for a pandemic. 

We have produced the following inquiry submissions: 

Submission to the EFRA inquiry on COVID-19 (April 2020) 

Submission to the IDC inquiry on COVID-19 (April 2020)

Submission to the IDC inquiry on COVID-19 (May 2020) 

You can find the wider Fair Trade movement’s statement on building back fairer

Market regulation and competition law

Our 2019 report, Competition Law and Sustainability, brings together the findings of a series of interviews with stakeholders in the UK grocery sector to explore how competition law was effecting efforts to collaborate together to tackle sustainability issues. The near-unanimous message is that competition law is perceived to be a barrier to tackling low farm-gate prices.

Competition Law and Sustainability report (2019)

Sustainability Collaborations report (2017)

In May 2016, the Fairtrade Foundation commissioned GlobeScan to undertake consumer research to assess whether UK consumers would welcome strengthening the UK’s regulatory framework for fairer trading practices.

The study found that the British public strongly believe that both government and business can and should be doing more to ensure future food sustainability.

Read the Fairtrade Foundation’s briefing on the research

GlobeScan: Assessing public support for regulation for fairer trading practices

Business and human rights

The Fairtrade Foundation has welcomed the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 and is working with other civil society organisations, to feed into discussions about strengthening the Act, and about bringing forward mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD).

Fairtrade response to the DEFRA consultation on a proposed Deforestation Law

Read the recent statement from CORE coalition members in response to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act.

Read the recent statement from CORE coalition members on mandatory HRDD.

Fairtrade International has recently published its human rights commitment and HRDD advocacy position, under additional resources.

Other Policy Reports

Fairtrade and the Commonwealth

Ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit, which took place in Windsor in April 2018, we called for a prioritisation of ‘Fair Trade for Development’. We asked leaders to embrace an agenda which supported women’s economic empowerment, tackled modern slavery and promoted living incomes and living wages. We also called for trade policies across the Commonwealth to be guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more in the report below:

Fairtrade and the Commonwealth: A Five Point Plan for Prosperity, Sustainability and Fairness

For more information see our press release on the Commonwealth.

Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through trade – a five-point agenda for policy coherence

World governments look to trade as a driver of economic growth and poverty reduction, which is why trade is central to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the global poverty reduction and sustainability framework that was adopted in September 2015.

We set out a five-point agenda for the UK government and the EU to ensure the SDGs deliver for farmers and workers through trade. We are calling on government to show its hand and make trade fair.

Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals Through Trade – a Five-Point Agenda for Policy Coherence 

Our update on the five-point agenda sets out further analysis in support of our call for policy coherence.

Delivering the Sustainable Development Goals Through Trade – Update (September 2015)

Show Your Hand: Make Trade Fair campaign

Equal harvest: removing the barriers to women’s participation in smallholder agriculture

Despite making up almost half the agricultural workforce in developing countries, women are under-represented in the membership and leadership of small producer organisations (SPOs).  

Our report calls on businesses, governments, NGOs and other agencies to support and incentivise producer organisations to address gender equality, so that women farmers can get their fair share of the benefits of international trade.

Equal Harvest: Removing the barriers to women’s participation in smallholder agriculture – Full report

Equal Harvest: Removing the barriers to women’s participation in smallholder agriculture – Executive Summary

Sugar crash 

Reform of the EU sugar market is set to put the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and Least Developed Countries (LDC) at risk.

Sugar Crash, a new report from the Fairtrade Foundation, is calling for the EU to convene and lead a new initiative, bringing together government, business and civil society.

Sugar Crash – How EU Reform is Endangering the Livelihoods of Small Farmers

A seat at the table? Ensuring smallholder farmers are heard in public-private partnerships

Governments and NGOs are increasingly partnering with the private sector to tackle global hunger and poverty. Our 2014 study of agricultural public-private partnerships (PPPs) identifies examples of PPPs failing to engage effectively with smallholder farmers. 

The report asks governments, donors and companies to go further to ensure that smallholder farmers are given the opportunity, space and information to play an active role in the design and development of agricultural PPPs.

A seat at the table?  Ensuring smallholder farmers are heard in public-private partnerships – Full report

A seat at the table?  Ensuring smallholder farmers are heard in public-private partnerships – Executive Summary

Britain’s bruising banana wars

In February 2014, we launched our campaign to make bananas fair. Our report found that there are deep-rooted problems within the banana industry and that while the cost of producing bananas over the past ten years has doubled, prices in UK supermarkets have halved. We call on the UK Government to step in and investigate the impact of retailer pricing practices.

Britain’s Bruising Banana Wars

How businesses are going further to make international supply chains work for smallholder farmers

Our 2013 report identifies examples of win-win partnerships for both trading and manufacturing businesses and smallholder farmers and their communities alike.

How businesses are going further to make international supply chains work for smallholder farmers

Policy submissions and consultation responses

Alongside our policy reports, we also regularly respond to consultations. You can read our policy submissions below:

Fairtrade Foundation written evidence to the International Development Committee inquiry into the UK Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals

Fairtrade Foundation written evidence to the International Trade Committee inquiry into Trade and the Commonwealth: Developing Countries

Fairtrade Foundation’s joint submission with the CORE coalition on The Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act: Transparency in Supply Chains

Fairtrade Foundation submission to DIT’s Consultation on the Trade White Paper. 

Parliamentary Newsletter

You can find out more about our work in Parliament through our recent newsletters below:

Parliamentary newsletter – February 2019

Parliamentary newsletter – June 2018

Find out more about

Fairtrade’s impact

Make Bananas Fair campaign videos

Fairtrade All Party Parliamentary Group

Fairtrade’s press releases

Fairtrade International programmes and policies

Fairness in trade

Fairness in trade matters for sustainability

Impact evaluation of Fairtrade’s supply chain interventions

The case for fairness in trade