Fairtrade at 25 | 25 Years of Fairtrade Foundation
Traidcraft are the original fair trade pioneers in the UK, advocating the importance of organic farming, sustainability and transparency to the lives of growers and artisans around the world. 2019 has been a huge year for us here at Traidcraft, topped off with the fact we were able to celebrate our 40th birthday! Our celebrations have spanned the whole year (because why limit birthdays to one day a year, right?) and ended in a wonderfully symbolic Service of Thanksgiving in Newcastle Cathedral, just a few streets away from where it all started, back in 1979.
During our four decades of fighting for trade, social and economic justice, we’ve done many things to be proud of, proving that fair trade can work professionally. Apart from introducing the first fair trade tea, coffee, sugar, fruit juice, wine, rice, honey, charcoal, rubber and even sustainable palm oil to the UK, in 1992, we co-founded the Fairtrade Foundation.
The Fairtrade Foundation helps establish the standards that underpin today's well-known Fairtrade Mark. Recognised around the world, the Fairtrade Mark is the symbol of the international Fairtrade system and is only used on products which have been certified in accordance to strict Fairtrade Standards.
This year sees the Fairtrade Foundation turn 25 – making it the same age as The Lion King, Eurotunnel and the TV series, Friends. Throughout the past quarter of a decade, the Fairtrade Foundation have brought Fairtrade into the mainstream – which was a mere pie in the sky vision 25 years ago! These days, we’d be surprised to find a supermarket or shop which doesn’t stock a Fairtrade certified range.
Over the past 25 years, the Fairtrade Foundation have made a real difference to the lives and communities of many farmers, workers and artisans all over the world; demanding trade to be fairer and living incomes to be adhered to. They work with people from all walks of life, from businesses, big and small, to local governments, places of worship and schools, affirming the importance of Fairtrade and educating people on exactly what it means to be certified.
The last 25 years show that by coming together, transformational change can be achieved. More than one and a half million farmers and workers in over 1,200 producer organisations around the globe are now part of the Fairtrade movement. The Fairtrade Minimum Price protects against unfair and volatile prices, while the Fairtrade Premium supports people to bring about real change in their communities. That means children going to school, whole villages drinking clean water, farmers being able to grow their businesses and women raising their voices.
Much like us here at Traidcraft, although celebrating a big birthday and all that we have achieved so far, the Fairtrade Foundation are placing emphasis on the fact that there are still changes to be made. The effects of climate change are having more consequences than ever on the people they work with and the imbalance of power in many supply chains still exists. The Fairtrade Foundation are using their anniversary to show why Fairtrade is still as relevant as it was 25 years ago, and are inviting the shoppers of today, and tomorrow, to tackle the changes that lie ahead and recognise the importance of Fairtrade in their decision making.
The first week in October sees the majority of the Fairtrade Foundation’s 25th birthday celebrations taking place, with Fairtrade parties going on throughout the entire week. The Fairtrade Foundation are asking us to get creative using the Fairtrade Mark and let them know what it means to us personally, using the hashtag #Fairtrade25. Check out some of the amazing responses across their social media channels – why not join the party yourself?
Here’s to another 25 years and another generation of making trade fair.
For more information, as well as Fairtrade assets and resources (including school assembly materials, quizzes, posters and bunting!), see Fairtrade.org.uk.