Fairtrade reduces poverty. It provides local sustainability, better prices and safeguards humane working conditions for farmers and workers in the developing world. For those reasons alone, why wouldn’t you want to be a Fairtrade supplier?
But Fairtrade works both ways. It can also be good for your business too. Did you know that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers trust Fairtrade? And 4 out of 5 of them said having an ethical label on a product showing it is sustainable increases the likelihood of them buying a product? So it begs the question, can you afford not to carry the Fairtrade certification?
It’s good to know that Fairtrade is no longer a new concept but in order to generate greater sales for the benefit of disadvantaged and marginalised producers it’s more important than ever to get even more manufacturers involved with it. Did you know there are over 4500 Fairtrade products available? The blue-green logo has become quite common on products – coffee, chocolate, bananas, beauty products, cotton – these can all be certified Fairtrade, which means it’s far easier than you think to supply them.
The price of a banana brought in a UK supermarket has dropped from around 18p to 11p. The result is that farmers and workers in countries like Colombia and Dominican Republic, growing bananas for a living is becoming unsustainable. But supplying or buying Fairtrade bananas in the UK means that producers are guaranteed a minimum price, get an extra premium to invest in their community and have improved workplace condition and protection.
You know that satisfying feeling you get from a chocolate bar? Well you’d probably feel a little less satisfied if you knew what it took to produce it. Life is tough for coca farmers. The price of the cocoa bean has slumped in recent years despite high demand. Disease and age are damaging coca trees and few young people are becoming cocoa farmers because of the poor prospects. But Fairtrade is helping put a stop to that. It’s making places like Ivory Coast and Ghana more sustainable by guaranteeing minimum prices and providing a premium to invest in local communities so farmers can provide a better future for themselves and their families. You can give them this opportunity just by supplying Fairtrade chocolate.
By choosing Fairtrade coffee, you are helping invest in schools, reforestation and agricultural improvements in developing countries and helping farmers around the world get a fair deal, improving their working, social and community lives. They are guaranteed a Fairtrade minimum price for their coffee, which aims to cover the costs of production and act as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level.
Cotton farmers in developing countries like India are living in hardship. The challenges range from poor prices for seed cotton through to competition from highly subsidised producers in rich countries. Fairtrade cotton was launched to put an end to this and help the farmers who are often left invisible, neglected and poor at the end of a long and complex cotton supply chain. Supplying products made from Fairtrade cotton ensures that these farmers receive a fair and stable price for their cotton.
Did you know there are nearly 150 Fairtrade beauty products available? From dental care to body butter the list is endless. Small scale farmers in over 50 countries are producing ingredients such as coconut, argan and brazil nut oils for beauty products. With Fairtrade, they are getting a fair price and enough support to invest in community projects,
It’s not just these products either – gold, flowers, sugar, wine, tea – these are all available with the blue and green logo.
A recent survey found that British shoppers are up to three times more likely to choose environmentally friendly products than they were in 2011, so if you are a Fairtrade licensee it will encourage consumers to choose your business over competitors who are not offering the same ethical conditions. Whether you run a restaurant, pub, cafe or are an independent retailer wanting to stock these items, you can use the National Fairtrade Purchasing Guide to help you find a supplier.
This isn’t just aimed at suppliers either! If anything it’s to show just how easy it is to come across Fairtrade products. Supplier or consumer – it doesn’t really matter. Choose Fairtrade.