We’re proud to offer Fairtrade coffee and other certified products. While pretty much everyone has heard of Fairtrade when did it start, what’s it about, where does it work and what does it do?
Learn more about the origins of Fairtrade, one of the world’s most well known ethical accredited bodies.
The origins of Fairtrade
It all started way back in 1946 in the USA Self Help Crafts as it was known began buying handcrafted needlework from Puerto Rico in 1946, and Sales Exchange for Refugee Rehabilitation and Vocation (SERRV) began to trading with refugees in Europe in the aftermath of WWII in 1949. The first formal ‘Fair-Trade’ shop opened its doors in 1958 in the USA.
The Fair-Trade movement cropped up in Europe from the late 1950s, when Oxfam UK started to sell craft goods made by Chinese refugees in its shops, by the 1960s it had created the first Fair-Trade organisation.
Similar initiatives were underway in Holland, where the Dutch set up Fair-Trade Original in 1967. By 1969 the first ‘Third World Shop’ opened its doors, these shops continue play a crucial role in the Fair-Trade movement, not only as shops but also because of their proactive work campaigning and raising awareness.
In the early days most, Fair-Trade organisations sold crafted goods, which in the main did little more than provide supplementary income to families. By the 1970s this had changed significantly, and Fair-Trade organisations started meeting at conferences and working together.
By 1973, Holland’s Fair-Trade Original started importing the first fairly traded coffee from Guatemala, which it sourced from small famer cooperatives. Ever since hundreds of thousands of coffee farmers have benefited from Fair-Trade. In light of the success of coffee, many fair-trading organisations expanded their food range and started selling commodity products like tea, cocoa, sugar, wine, fruit juices, nuts, rice, and spices from around the globe.
The Fairtrade Foundation
By 1992 The Fairtrade Foundation had been established by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft, the World Development Movement and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, to unify the world approach and make it a truly fair and global enterprise.
Its main mission being to provide better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers across the developing world. To tackle the inequalities of conventional trade, which frequently discriminate against the most vulnerable, enabling them to improve their circumstances and ultimately have more control over their lives.
These days Fairtrade independently checks that their standards have been met by the farmers, workers and companies that are part of product supply chains and these products can then use the Fairtrade logo. This actively demonstrates to that consumers that through their shopping choices that they are making a difference by using their spending power to change people’s lives for the better.
Not only that the movement helps to increase living standards and helps to reduce some of the risk for farmers and workers in volatile economic markets through the Fairtrade Minimum Price. Which provides a safety net for farmers through better cash flow, access to credit and the ability to save for their future. All of this contributes to drive up living standards and a having a better income source also means more money to buy food and the ability to invest in growing other food crops contributing to greater food security.
Supporting farmers to improve the number of crops they can produce and the quality of what they produce is a hugely important factor in creating sustainable livelihoods. Ultimately it means It means farmers can earn more from what they produce to become more economically stable and more reliable suppliers, which improves the stability of business relationships. Productivity and quality are increased as a result and provides strong links to environmental sustainability. Essentially Fairtrade enables farmers and workers to invest in their communities and overall to help provide access to basic services including access to clean water, sanitation, and education.
As a result, over a million small-scale producers and workers are involved in the Fairtrade movement, in over 70 countries across the developing world and it continues to grow from strength to strength supported by you the consumer doing nothing more than paying a fair price for the goods in your shopping basket by shopping Fairtrade. There is no better way of helping people across the globe out of poverty. This is not about charity it’s about fair trade and it makes a real difference to millions and millions of people each and every day.
When is Fairtrade Fortnight?
This year Fairtrade Fortnight takes place between 22 February to 7 March 2021.
For two weeks each year at the end of February and start of March, sees thousands of companies and individuals share stories of the people who are often exploited and underpaid for the work they do.
Buy Fairtrade coffee & hot chocolate
You can play your part by choosing to buy Farrer’s Fairtrade Coffee and Hot Chocolate Powder.
We recommend you try Costa Rica Fairtrade, which was featured in the Independent’s Top 10 Fairtrade Coffees for Fairtrade Fortnight 2021.