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Why doesnt Fairtrade certify large coffee plantations?

Around 70% of the world’s coffee farmers are small-scale growers, and they face particular disadvantages in the market place. Fairtrade’s mission is to make trade work for marginalised or disadvantaged producers, and therefore there is a global agreement that the system should champion purchase of sustainable coffee from organisations of small coffee farmers explicitly. Read our fairtrade_and_coffee_plantations (22.25KB) (PDF) to find out more.

Where can I find images of Fairtrade producers?

The Fairtrade Foundation has a limited number of producer images that are available to use in accordance with copyright agreements. Visit our Media Library for more details.

Are exceptions ever made to the Fairtrade Standards?

Like other standard-setting organisations, we understand that standards systems sometimes need to make exceptions. At Fairtrade, any exceptions we make must meet the following principles: - We carefully consider all exceptions to ensure that overall, there is benefit for producers or workers. - We assess the risk to the credibility of Fairtrade and how to manage this risk. - We apply the exceptions to all in the supply chain that might be affected by a particular situation. - We ensure that the exceptions do not set a precedent that we would not want to see again. - We ensure exceptions are limited either by time or by volume. We closely monitor all the exceptions we make at the Fairtrade Foundation. Depending on the situation, exceptions are approved by our Certification and Oversight Committee (CAOC). The CAOC is a group of independent assurance experts who meet regularly to scrutinise the activity of the Fairtrade Foundation's Product Integrity team. This team review and uphold our licensees' compliance with the Fairtrade Standards.

Why isnt the Fairtrade price calculated as a percentage of the retail price?

We are often asked how much farmers receive from the retail price of a product sold on Fairtrade terms compared to the same product sold on conventional terms. While this type of comparison may appear to be a simple way to demonstrate the impact of Fairtrade from the consumer’s perspective, it doesn’t actually address the real inequities in typical conventional market arrangements. For producers, the value of Fairtrade is not about the relationship of their selling price to that of the finished product, but to their costs of production and the conventional market price. There are also many complex and variable factors to take into account in comparing different elements of the final price paid by consumers which can be misleading. For example, the price received by a cocoa or coffee producer selling to the conventional market depends on many factors including: - fluctuating international market prices - the producer ‘cut’ from a chocolate bar will vary according to the international price of cocoa at the time of sale and the percentage cocoa content of the bar - whether the producer is an independent smallholder or a plantation worker - whether the smallholder/co-operative/plantation carries out processing or other value-added operations - whether a smallholder sells directly to a local buyer or is a member of a co-operative - whether the co-operative sells to local traders or to auction, or exports the product on behalf of its members - local trading conditions – these can vary greatly within a country let alone within different continents e.g. whether the industry has been liberalised or is state-regulated - the varying costs of production from country to country Once the primary product is sold to a certified Fairtrade importer, the costs are similar to those for a conventional product – transport and export costs; shipping and insurance; import licences and taxes; ripening or processing; packing; warehousing and distribution; marketing and promotion and; retailer overheads. The Fairtrade Foundation has no control or influence over commercial costs or margins. And because the major costs of the finished product are incurred after the producer has sold the commodity, the return to the producer will inevitably make up a relatively small percentage of the retail price.

How many Fairtrade products in the UK are there?

Thousands! We have licensed over 4,500 Fairtrade certified products for sale through retail and catering outlets in the UK. Explore a selection of Fairtrade products on our Buying Fairtrade page.

Is the cocoa in a Fairtrade chocolate bar 100 percent Fairtrade cocoa?

The chocolate industry is currently not always able to keep Fairtrade cocoa and non-Fairtrade cocoa separate at every stage of production from the cocoa field to the final bar. Cocoa beans are delivered in bulk by farmers and routinely mixed during shipping and in the manufacturing process. Rather than not engaging with the chocolate industry and losing Fairtrade sales opportunities for thousands of small farmers, Fairtrade has set up a system to ensure that chocolate manufacturers that want to use the FAIRTRADE Mark must buy the precise amount of cocoa they need from Fairtrade farmers that will be used in their final product. So, if a chocolate bar uses 500 tonnes of cocoa, then they must purchase 500 tonnes of cocoa on Fairtrade terms, including the payment of an additional $200 Fairtrade Premium per tonne. This means that even if the beans are later mixed with non-Fairtrade beans – as often happens – Fairtrade cocoa farmers still get 100% of the benefits, and the better deal that the FAIRTRADE Mark stands for. Research shows that this is what consumers care most about: that every Fairtrade chocolate bar they buy helps deliver a better deal to Fairtrade farmers and workers in the cocoa industry. Fairtrade’s purpose is to support farmers and workers in the developing world to increase their share in global trade. Fairtrade’s stringent inspection and audit system is in place to ensure the amount of Fairtrade chocolate manufactured exactly matches the amount of Fairtrade cocoa purchased. We have worked hard on our rules for messaging on packaging to reflect the new system, in line with trading standards and EU Directives. We also work with chocolate manufacturers to increase their purchases on Fairtrade terms with this arrangement. That is making a huge difference to cocoa farmers in being able to tackle the problems and poverty they experience. But we need to go further. The more we demand Fairtrade chocolate, the more Fairtrade cocoa beans the companies will be encouraged to purchase, ensuring more benefits to farmers and more sales of Fairtrade cocoa.

What product categories does Fairtrade certify?

Fairtrade standards exist for the following products: Food products: - Bananas - Cocoa - Coffee - Dried Fruit - Fresh Fruit & Fresh Vegetables - Honey - Juices - Nuts/Oil Seeds/Oil - Quinoa - Rice - Spices - Sugar - Tea - Wine Non-food products: - Beauty products - Cotton - Cut Flowers - Ornamental Plants - Sports Balls - Gold - Platinum - Silver

What personal information we collect

Supporters We collect relevant personal information depending on the interaction you have with us. This might include (but isn’t limited to) your title, name, contact details and preferences, how you choose to support us, for example: taking a campaign action, organising events, donating or fundraising, ordering resources, signing up to receive our email newsletters, taking part in competitions or surveys, registering to come to events or engaging with us through our social media pages or through our Supporter Services team. Personal information is anything that can be used to identify you as an individual. It can include your name, email address, postal address, telephone number, bank account details, credit/debit card details and whether you are a UK tax payer (so that we can claim Gift Aid). Schools We collect information in relation to the interactions around the Fairtrade School Awards scheme. This covers a variety of different activities from sharing details of a schools’ Fairtrade procurement, details of lesson plans and images of Fairtrade events. For each of the schools who register with us, we ask for up-to-date contact details and the school name and address. Information uploaded onto the schools award portal will be stored securely and accessed by an assessor to enable the award to be processed. Although this information will not be shared, we may contact the school to ask if we can share details or photos of an event as a case study on our website, in print material or newsletters. However, we will not do this without first obtaining additional permission and we do ask that no images or personal information of students are uploaded onto the portal without permission from a parent or guardian. Personal information and photos pertaining to a schools competition entry or a schools survey will be held for one year and then deleted or destroyed securely. Children’s data We collect and manage information from children, and aim to manage it in a way which is appropriate to the age of the child. Information is usually collected through the details that schools or town groups may share with us as part of their Fairtrade activities and events. This can be sensitive personal information – of children who are part of their Fairtrade Steering Group or who have led a particular Fairtrade activity. We may use children’s photos and information for case studies and publicity but will always ensure that we have the appropriate consent through our key contact who will have gained permission from the parent or guardian. We do not routinely collect dates of birth, but will never knowingly ask a child or student under the age of 18 to make a donation. In relation to the Fairtrade School Awards, the school that has registered with us has a responsibility to ensure that all information that they provide to us has appropriate consent from a parent or guardian. This includes any uploads of images of pupils involved in activity related to the award scheme. The school remains the data owner and as such should have permission to share children’s names and photos before uploading them to our site. Universities and colleges  We collect information in relation to the Fairtrade Universities and Colleges Award. This includes contact details for each institution, information about events, activities and teaching and procurement figures in relation to Fairtrade products. This information will be held for the duration of an active award and for two years afterwards in case of renewal. Following this, all personal and financial details will be removed from our records. Although this information will not be shared, we may contact the institutions to ask if we can share details or photos of an event as a case study on our website, in print material or newsletters. We will also maintain a separate newsletter database. Please note that the Universities and Colleges Award is changing over the next two years and we will be working jointly with the NUS. As this is a joint venture your award data will be collected by the NUS and shared with the Fairtrade Foundation only for the purposes mentioned here to do with administering the award and not for any other purpose, according to the terms of this notice. Fairtrade Communities (Towns, Villages, Cities etc.) and Places of Worship Personal information collected from members of Fairtrade Community Steering Groups, and contacts for Fairtrade Places of Worship is the same as Supporters (see above). Key contacts for Steering Groups who receive additional communications related to the group's award status are nominated at the point of registering, applying or renewing Fairtrade status, but can be amended at any time by phone or email. Frequently, additional personal information of steering group members or other individuals supporting your campaign locally is collected indirectly through applications and renewals of your group’s Fairtrade status. This information is stored securely and treated in strict confidence as per this notice, and only additional personal information that enables us to better understand your role and the activities of the group in relation to its Fairtrade status as awarded by the Foundation, is kept. Credit, debit card payment information If you use your credit or debit card to buy something from our online shop, make a donation or fundraise for us, we will ensure that this is done securely and in accordance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). To find out more about PCI DSS standards, visit their website at www.pcisecuritystandards.org. Following the completion of your transaction, card details and validation codes are securely destroyed once the payment or donation has been processed.

How we keep your personal information safe and who has access to it

- At the Fairtrade Foundation, we take data protection very seriously. We make it a priority to ensure that we have the right level of controls, interventions and processes in place to ensure we keep your personal information safe. However, the nature of information transfer - particularly online - is never fully secure, so we cannot guarantee the complete security and protection of it when it is outside of our control. Once we have your personal information, we do everything in our power to ensure that we have the systems and processes in place internally to safely send it (for example, using encryption) where and when required to our partners (see the where we collect personal information section of this notice). - As mentioned above, only authorised staff have access to your personal information, and only if essential. They are trained and understand the policies, processes and protocol for keeping it safe. - Occasionally we use external companies to collect or process data for us on our behalf. These partners sign an agreed data protection contract and undergo a rigorous process to ensure they are compliant and able to follow our privacy notice before we agree to work with and share data with them. We have strict confidentiality agreements with our suppliers that they do not use, share, or sell the personal information we provide to them for undertaking or helping us to undertake our work. - When you agree to receive email communications from us, we reserve the right to share your encrypted email address with social media companies such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube. This also applies to digital advertising networks that may identify audiences with similar interests to yours, and display our advertising on the aforementioned social media platforms. If you do not want your personal information to be used in this way, you can email us at mail@fairtrade.org.uk or call our Supporter Services Team on +44 (0)20 7440 7676 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Please note that our advertisements may still be shown to you on a randomised basis or based on cookie data. We take the protection of your personal information seriously, so we only enter into contracts with service providers that require them to comply with data protection laws and maintain proper controls to protect the security of your information. Sharing in this way does not permit the third party to use your personal information for their own marketing purposes. - There are times when our emails to you or our website may contain links to other external sites. We try to ensure that these organisation’s sites are respectable, but we are not responsible for their privacy policies. There may be information that can personally identify you. Check their privacy notice to learn more. - Sometimes, some of our suppliers operate outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Although they may not be subject to the same data protection laws as companies based in the UK, we will do our utmost to make sure they are compliant in accordance with UK data protection law. By submitting your personal information to us you agree to this transfer, storing or processing at a location outside the EEA. - We will comply with legal requests to disclose your details as permitted by law to the police, Government and regulatory bodies or legal advisors if required.

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