What is Fairtrade?
Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.
The Fairtrade accreditation scheme supports farmers to develop the skills and knowledge to improve their businesses, to embed health and safety standards and to benefit from the security of long-term contracts, as well as protecting children from enforced labour. It includes a ‘social premium’ which benefits their communities and the environment.
What this means in terms of impact on individuals’ lives was brought home by a sesame seed producer from Nicaragua, Sandra Rojas, when she visited us at the University. She explained that to her, Fairtrade means "the difference between civilised life and bare existence", eg shoes on her feet, her children going to school, having enough to eat, and crucially being able to plan.
For her village, Fairtrade means a functioning health clinic, roads and transport and a community building.
The Fairtrade Foundation strives to ensure these better standards are realised, and award their consumer label, the Fairtrade mark, to products which meet these internationally recognised standards.