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Fair Trade

What is Fair Trade?

Fairtrade works with farmers and workers so they can improve their living standards, invest in their communities and businesses, and protect our shared environment. The Fairtrade system aims to promote sustainability and social justice.

Fairtrade certification also requires adherence to strict environmental and labour standards, and prohibits the use of harmful chemicals and child labour. Click here to read our blog about Fairtrade certifications and why they are important.

"With Fairtrade you have the power to change the world every day. With simple shopping choices you can help farmers get a better deal. And that means they can make their own decisions, control their futures and lead the dignified life everyone deserves.

Fairtrade is a simple way to make a difference to the lives of the people who grow the things we love. We do this by changing the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fair deal for farmers and workers in developing countries."

Fairtrade Foundation

Image: Candela Peru producer, Esmiker de la Peña Huanuire gathering Brazil nuts from the rainforest in Peru.

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The Fair Trade movement

The fair trade movement aims to promote fair and equal trading terms for producers in developing countries. It is based around ten key principles:

  • Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Fair Trading Practices
  • Payment of a Fair Price
  • Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour
  • Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Women's Economic Empowerment, and Freedom of Association
  • Ensuring Good Working Conditions
  • Providing Capacity Building
  • Promoting Fair Trade
  • Respect for the Environment

We work with Fairtrade producers

Shared Interest aims to promote these principles and support fair trade producers and businesses to deliver meaningful social impact in towns and villages across the globe.

Over our 30 year history, our members have helped support millions of people with limited income to grow their businesses, and earn a fair living. Our regional teams understand their daily challenges and successes, and together we enable producer organisations to finance orders, access working capital, purchase essential machinery and infrastructure. Once they sell their crops or crafts, they payback the loan, and we lend this money again.

Image: TradeAID Integrated basket weaver, Atule Azeyoke holds harvested vegetables grown using soiless farming.

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Learn about how Fairtrade has impacted Ecookim.


Learn about how Fairtrade has impacted Cafescor.


Learn about how Fairtrade has impacted Cayat.

Fairtrade at 30: Facts about Fairtrade

As Fairtrade celebrates its 30th year in 2024, learn more about the vital work of the brand that makes trade work for everyone.

  • The FAIRTRADE Mark, a registered trademark of Fairtrade, appears on more than 30,000 products.
  • Working alongside farmers, workers, businesses and consumers, Fairtrade supports more than two million Fairtrade producers to achieve better prices for their produce. With family members and dependents, an estimated 10 million people benefit from sales on Fairtrade terms.
  • Farmers and workers co-own Fairtrade, with 50% of the vote at the General Assembly and an equal say in the Fairtrade system.
  • 265 women and men have graduated from the Women’s School of Leadership in Ivory Coast since 2017.
  • In the UK, Fairtrade has worked with over 7,000 local Fairtrade groups, including 2,500 Fairtrade Schools and 4,000 Fairtrade Places of Worship.
  • In 1994, The first Fairtrade certified product, Green & Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate made with cocoa from Belize, is launched, followed shortly after by Cafédirect coffee.
  • In 2006, Fairtrade takes the British high street by storm, as Greggs and Marks and Spencer, commit to selling Fairtrade coffee and tea whilst Ben & Jerry’s release the first Fairtrade ice-cream.
  • The world’s first Fairtrade Town was Garstang in Lancashire in 2001. Over 600 communities have achieved Fairtrade status since then, with 2,000 Fairtrade Towns worldwide.
  • Globally, between 1994 and 2022, producers have shared an estimated £1.7 billion in Fairtrade Premium payment.
  • Millions of farmers and workers in 70 countries across the globe belong to 1,930 producer organisations which are Fairtrade certified; each benefitting from stable prices, education, healthcare, clean water, access to training and much more. 
  • As Fairtrade turns 30, join us in sharing and celebrating the achievements and principles of the Fairtrade movement, as we strive to deliver a fairer world for farmers and artisans.

Learn more about the history of Fairtrade.

Learn more about Fairtrade's School of Leadership.

Learn more about Fairtrade products


Fairtrade at 30: Five Ways to Mark Fairtrade's Anniversary

Fairtrade recently released a list of 30 themed activities to try in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Fairtrade, which is taking place throughout 2024. Spread the word about Fairtrade and inspire others to be the change with our top five activity picks.

Quiz Night 

Quiz nights are for everybody. There are a few Fairtrade themed quizzes you can try on our website or the Fairtrade website. Alternatively, use the information available and have a go at making your own! 

Click here to check out the Fairtrade Quiz.

Click here to check out the Fairtrade Quiz for Schools. 

Click here to check out the Shared Interest Fairtrade Quiz. 

Click here to check out the Shared Interest Fairtrade Commodity Quiz.

Art Campaign

Whether it’s poetry, painting, music, or crafting, getting creative is a great way to spread the word about the difference Fairtrade makes. For a little inspiration, visit the link below and explore the work of those involved in Fairtrade's 2022 Youth Exhibition festival, where young people sent a message to the individuals, businesses, policy makers and the wider community to inspire climate action and remind us why we need to listen to the farmers most affected by climate change.

Click here to get inspired with Fairtrade's Youth Exhibition.

Film Screening 

Choose a themed film to explore Fairtrade and its role in achieving climate justice. Each film comes with a set of questions that can be used to prompt discussion afterwards. 

Click here to get involved.

Fairtrade Shopping 

With over 6,000 Fairtrade products available, you could try a new Fairtrade product every day for over 16 years! 

Click here to check out which Fairtrade products are available and where you can purchase them.

Fairtrade Faith Community 

Sign up as a Fairtrade Place of Worship, stock Fairtrade goodies and spread the word about the Fairtrade Mark among your faith community. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship across the UK have been at the heart of Fairtrade’s success since its conception. By supporting Fairtrade, your place of worship will become part of the global Fairtrade movement.

Click here to find out how to sign up.


30 years of the FAIRTRADE Mark here in the UK means 30 years of farmers using the power of Fairtrade to drive positive change in their communities. 

If you want to see the full list of activities, click here

See how many you can do in 2024!

Fairtrade at 30: Three Tips to Living a Fairtrade Life

Celebrate 30 years of Fairtrade by living fairer with these three tips.

Shop with Fairtrade

From where you can find a Fairtrade shop, to how you can receive support as a Fairtrade shop and what the future of Fairtrade retail might look like, visit our blog to learn about all things Fairtrade shopping.

Joanna Abena Fianu joined us as a special guest speaker at our Durham event, where she explored each of these topics, as well as the principles of fair trade. Joanna has been involved with BAFTS since 2011.

BAFTS are a network member of the Fairtrade organisation and they act as a solidarity and support unit for anybody running a fair trade shop in the UK.

Swap with Fairtrade

Click here to check out our Feed Me Fairtrade series and watch some quick and easy recipes for you to try at home. These videos are made to inspire us all on how we can fill our cupboards with more Fairtrade goodies. By committing to switching at least one item in our regular shop to Fairtrade, we ensure that more farmers earn a fairer deal, with more resources to invest in their communities.

In each episode of Feed Me Fairtrade, Sally, our Partnership Manager, shares a vegetarian or vegan recipe which is inspired by the smallholder farmers and artisans we work with across the globe. Our recipes are also a great activity for events like Fairtrade campaigners' Great Big Green Week, which encourages us all to make swaps for the sustainability of our planet. Take part in the big swap by swapping out your regular ingredients for some Fairtrade alternatives!

Live with Fairtrade

Put people and the planet first with action and solidarity by making daily choices to support the fair trade movement.

This can involve:

  • Fighting fast fashion by recycling or upcycling your old clothes, thrift-shopping and buying from ethical clothes manufacturers.
  • Voting with fairness by asking candidates in your local and national elections what they will do make trade fair for farmers like Nena.
  • Help to spread the word that choosing Fairtrade means choosing justice for those living with the worst effects of the climate crisis by downloading print-at-home campaign materials.

For more information about fair trade, please visit the Fairtrade Foundation and WFTO websites.

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