Fair trade, its ins and outs
Fair trade aims to help producers in developing countries to improve their living conditions and promote sustainability. It advocates the payment of a higher price to farmers as well as higher social and environmental standards. There are several recognised fair trade certifiers, including Max Havelaar and Fairtrade International. These are umbrella organisations whose mission is to set the fair trade standards and to support, inspect and certify disadvantaged producers and harmonise the fair trade message.
Fair trade corresponds to the real price to producers as it also includes a premium, used by the cooperative for projects to develop the community. Premium allocation, decided by the farmers, goes to community projects. Fair trade markets There are 1,240 fair trade producer organisations in 74 countries providing work to more than 1.6m people. Around 80% of producer organisations worldwide are smallholders.
Fair trade is especially relevant in our coffee, tea and chocolate business. Our competitive landscape overall We are one of a handful of dedicated players with a strong European presence and we compete with a range of very different companies in our markets. Most organic producers are small to medium-sized, family-owned, and operate in just one country. Often, they cover several product categories. Fair trade, in contrast, has been embraced by many producers. This is almost becoming a requirement in several product categories, such as coffee.