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  • Writer's pictureHannah Smith

Fairtrade Foundation: Choose The World You Want

Fairtrade Foundation UK is continuing to grow, holding COVID safe events and inspiring people across the UK to get involved.


In the run-up to world Fair Trade Day (8 May 2021) we spoke with The Fairtrade Foundation to find out what they have been doing during the global pandemic and their future plans to continue their vital work.

Almost all UK residents are aware of the Fairtrade brand and organisation, with 91% of consumers aware of The Fairtrade Foundation trademark and 80% trusting in it

We see the Fairtrade trademark on products in most shops and supermarkets

and there are currently over 400 businesses working with Fairtrade including Waitrose,

M&S, Aldi and Lidl - to name a few.


Whether it be bananas, chocolate, coffee or tea, at some point almost all of us have purchased their products and the awareness of the Fairtrade brand is becoming more widespread, not just in the UK, but around the world.


So why are so many people making the choice to purchase Fairtrade produce over other branded products? The answer to this question is simple - to help enable global change.


There are many misconceptions in communities around the UK as to exactly what the Fairtrade movement does and its purpose but most people are aware that they help provide fairer pay to workers in less advantageous communities.


This is, of course, a large part of the movement's focus, however, what many of us are not aware of is that The Fairtrade Foundation working to tackle against climate change and also helps to create equality between genders in the workplace of lower income countries.



The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many areas of the world and our lives, however, the pandemic has also made its mark on the world of trade, with a lot of businesses and organisations seeing losses across the board.


However, the Fairtrade Foundation movement has instead seen a 14% increase in their sales between October 2019 to October 2020 with 28% of UK consumers planning to purchase their products in the future - compared to only 15% pre-pandemic.


This increase will allow Fairtrade to continue their work and grow to help more and more businesses and communities around the world. If you own a business that deals in

trade with low income countries then you can join this movement by visiting https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/for-business/.


When speaking with The Fairtrade Foundation about how they have managed to make such a large increase in profit, they made it very clear that without the support of the UK population they would not have been able to achieve this, referring to their movement as “a people-powered engine of change”.


They also informed us that they were able to obtain €15 million in COVID-19 relief and recovery funding for their producers, which helped provide face masks, hand sanitisers, infrared thermometers and personal protective equipment (PPE).


This has allowed The Fairtrade Foundation and the companies working with them to continue to produce the products we see in our stores today, whilst ensuring that all workers are as safe as possible from the virus.



With the continuing struggle against COVID-19, The Fairtrade Foundation continues to encourage us all to make the choice to purchase their products and take part in their community events.


“Change starts with individuals making an active choice to support Fairtrade, whether this is buying products, signing a petition or some other action. This sparks the ignition of our engine of change and the collective strength of our community keeps the engine running and momentum building,” says a Fairtrade spokesperson.


In Fairtrade Fortnight, which takes place every year during the last week of February and

first week of March, the movement held over 100 virtual events featuring celebrity chefs,

climate activists, artists, and dozens of ways for the public to show their support.


Following this event, 77% of UK shoppers said that they purchased at least one Fairtrade product, with 73% of consumers wanting to see more products in store.


There are many ways in which we can get involved and help Fairtrade continue their work to support low income communities and help with the climate crisis. In 2021, The Fairtrade Foundation community is joining together to take on the climate crisis and anyone can be a part of this by signing up for regular email updates. You can do this by visiting the following link: https://action.fairtrade.org.uk/page/55342/subscribe/1


If you wish to take a more active role then there are Fairtrade campaign groups all over the UK who always welcome new campaigners against trade and climate injustice. You can find your nearest group on the Fairtrade communities map: https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/get-involved/in-your-community/communities/fairtrade-communities-map/


By Hannah Smith ©



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