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How much of the price we pay for Fairtrade products goes back to the producers?

Whatever the price of the product on the shelf, only the FAIRTRADE Mark ensures that the producers have received what is agreed as a fairer price, as well as the Fairtrade premium to invest in the future of their communities. The Fairtrade price applies at the point where the producer organisation sells to the next person in the supply chain (usually an exporter or importer). It is not calculated as a proportion of the final retail price, which is negotiated between the product manufacturer and the retailer. You can read a fuller explanation here: Retail pricing of Fairtrade products.

How big is the UK Fairtrade market?

The UK is one of the world’s leading Fairtrade markets, with more products and more awareness of Fairtrade than anywhere else. Almost one in three bananas sold in the UK is Fairtrade. Fairtrade sales in 2012 were £1.57bn.

Who is responsible for setting Fairtrade standards?

All Fairtrade standards, including minimum prices and premiums are set by the Standards Unit at Fairtrade International and the minimum prices and premiums for each product are included in the product-specific standards available on their website. The process for agreeing international Fairtrade standards follows the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Social and Environmental Labelling, where stakeholders (including producers, traders, NGOs) participate in the research and consultation process and final decision making.

Are Fairtrade certified products also organic?

Not necessarily. Fairtrade standards require sustainable farming techniques and require higher prices to be paid for organic products. Moreover, Fairtrade Premiums are often used to train producers in organic and sustainable techniques like composting and using recycled materials, which can help them to convert to organic production in the future.

Why arent handicrafts Fairtrade certified?

Fairtrade certification and pricing were designed for commodity products. It is hard to adapt the Fairtrade model of standardised minimum pricing to crafts and other products made by small-scale artisans, which are unique, made of varied materials and have highly varied production processes and costs. However, Fairtrade International is working with WFTO to explore whether we could certify these products in the future.

Why do some products claim to be fair trade but do not carry the FAIRTRADE Mark?

Some organisations, also called Alternative Trading Organisations (ATOs), are purely dedicated to trading fairly and have been doing so for many years before Fairtrade certification was established. You can find these organisations listed at WFTO or BAFTS. It can take a long time to agree new international Fairtrade standards, and for many of the products these organisations sell, there may not yet be standards available for their products.   However some other companies make their own ‘fair trade’ claims without having the independent scrutiny of the FAIRTRADE Mark, or being part of a recognised network such as WFTO. You need to ask what these claims are based upon. If you want to be sure that farmers and workers are receiving the better deal offered by Fairtrade, always look for the FAIRTRADE Mark.

How can my producer group become Fairtrade certified?

You’ll need to contact FLO-CERT, details are on their website.

How do I set up a licensee agreement to get my product certified or source a product to be certified?

The Fairtrade Foundation’s Commercial Relations team will guide you through the process. For more information read our For Business section of the website.

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