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Fairtrade

The FAIRTRADE Mark is 25 this year! We are proud to have been supporting them since day one.

Fairtrade is all about getting a better deal for farmers, allowing them to have more control over their futures and protecting the environment in which they live and work. 

We’re proud to stock the largest range of Fairtrade products in the Channel Islands.

What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade works to benefit small-scale farmers and workers, who are amongst the most marginalised groups globally, through trade rather than aid. This empowers them to maintain their livelihoods and reach their potential. It is an alternative approach that is based on partnership; one between those who grow our food and those that consume it.

The Fairtrade Foundation was formed in 1992 to support producers working in developing countries by:

  • helping to provide a better deal for growers and smaller scale producers in developing countries
  • helping the producers tackle their poverty, ensuring sustainable environments and livelihoods
  • ensuring decent wages and working conditions

To find out more about the Fairtrade Foundation, visit their website.

What do the Co-op do to help?

We do our best to inform, educate and motivate our customers to buy Fairtrade products, hoping to help make a difference to producers in the developing world.

Our products

We stock around 200 Fairtrade products in our larger stores, making our range the largest in the Channel Islands. 

All our own-brand hot beverages are Fairtrade, even our iconic Co-op 99 tea. Our Fairtrade wines also tell a story about struggling communities revived and renewed, about schools built, clean water supplied and hope restored. 

The variety of products available is always growing. Look out for Fairtrade products such as:

  • chocolate
  • cereal bars
  • biscuits
  • puddings
  • ice-cream
  • honey
  • sugar
  • nuts
  • crackers
  • beverages
  • cotton wool 
  • ear buds
  • household gloves

Why not give some of them a go with our Fairtrade recipe ideas?

How else we help

We have representatives on the Jersey and Guernsey Fairtrade Working Groups to help with our mission of increasing knowledge and use of Fairtrade products locally. 

Along with Co-op Group in the UK, we’re committed to supporting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and improving conditions in our supply chain. We'll continue to promote Fairtrade and develop long term, sustainable relationships and offer the widest range and availability of Fairtrade products.

We hope to help by securing progress in developing countries towards living wages, trade union recognition (where lawful), the end of child labour, reasonable working hours and overtime.  

How can I help?

With Fairtrade you have the power to change the world every day. By making simple shopping choices you can get farmers a better deal.

Look for the Fairtrade mark. When you buy products with the FAIRTRADE Mark, you support farmers and workers as they work to improve their lives and their communities.

What does the Fairtrade Mark mean?

The Mark means that the Fairtrade ingredients in the product have been produced by small-scale farmer organisations or plantations that meet Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards.

The standards include:

  • Protection of workers’ rights and the environment
  • Payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price
  • An additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community projects.

For certain products, such as coffee, cocoa, cotton and rice, Fairtrade only certifies small-scale farmer organisations. Working through democratic organisations of small-scale farmers, Fairtrade offers rural families the stability of income which enables them to plan for the future.

For some products such as bananas, tea and flowers, Fairtrade also certifies plantations - companies that employ large numbers of workers on estates. Standards for such large-scale production units differ and protect workers’ basic rights; from keeping them safe and healthy, allowing them freedom of association and collective bargaining, to preventing discrimination and ensuring no bonded or illegal child labour.

These standards also require employers to pay wages that progress towards living wage benchmarks, ensuring decent working conditions and strong worker rights is central to Fairtrade’s work.

More about Fairtrade

Fairtrade is 50% owned by farmers and workers 

Fairtrade works with a range of stakeholders but the global system is 50% owned by producers representing farmer and worker organisations.

With an equal voice, producers have a say in decision-making within the Fairtrade General Assembly and on Fairtrade International's Board of Directors. Through the Board and its committees, they are involved in decisions on overall strategy, use of resources and setting prices, premiums and standards.

Fairtrade Minimum price

For most Fairtrade goods there is a Fairtrade minimum price which is set to cover the cost of sustainable production for that product in that region. If the market price for that product is higher than the Fairtrade minimum price, then farmers and workers should receive the market price.

Payment of the minimum price is regularly audited and checked by FLO-Cert. This acts as a vital safety net for farmers and workers and protects them from fluctuations in the market prices of the products they grow for a living. This protection ensures they can have an assured and stable income and plan for their future. Fairtrade is the only certification scheme that offers such a unique minimum price protection for farmers.

Fairtrade Premium

Over and above the Fairtrade price, the Fairtrade Premium is an additional sum of money, which goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use – as they see fit - to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions.

Farmers and workers themselves determine what is most important to them; whether this is education or healthcare for their children, improving their business or building vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges for their community.