Fairtrade is a global movement with a strong and active presence in the UK, represented by the Fairtrade Foundation.
Fairtrade is a movement for change that works directly with businesses, consumers and campaigners to make trade deliver for farmers and workers.
The international Fairtrade system (which the Fairtrade Foundation is a part of) represents the world's largest and most recognised fair trade system. We are a global organisation working to secure a better deal for farmers and workers.
What the Fairtrade Foundation does
The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation that licenses use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards.
Our four key areas of activity include:
- Providing independent certification of the trade chain for products, and licensing use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products as a consumer guarantee
- Help in growing demand for Fairtrade products and empowering producers to sell to traders and retailers
- Working with our partners to support producer organisations and their networks
- Raising awareness of the need for Fairtrade in the public and the significant role of the FAIRTRADE Mark in making trade fair
Our hundreds of Fairtrade towns, faith groups, schools and universities and committed supporters are vital in helping us realise our vision of fair trade
The Foundation works to the definition of Fair Trade agreed by FINE, a working group of the four international Fair Trade networks (Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International, International Fair Trade Association, Network of European World Shops and the European Fair Trade Association):
Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalised producers and workers – especially in the South.
Our organisational strategy for 2016-2020, Fairtrade Can, I Can, sets out our ambition to deliver greater impact for producers, and engage even more of the UK public in shopping and campaigning for a better deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.
The Foundation was established in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft, Global Justice Now, and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes. Member organisations now also include Banana Link, All We Can, National Campaigner Committee, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, People & Planet, Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, Shared Interest Foundation, Soroptimist International , Tearfund and Commitment to Life / United Reformed Church.
The Foundation is the UK member of Fairtrade International, which unites over 20 labelling initiatives across Europe, Japan, North America, Mexico and Australia/New Zealand as well as networks of producer organisations from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Fairtrade Foundation is a registered charity (no. 1043886). It is also a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales (no. 2733136).
About the wider global Fairtrade system
The international Fairtrade system includes three producer networks, 25 Fairtrade organisations, Fairtrade International, and FLO-CERT, the independent certification body of the global Fairtrade system. Each plays a unique role in achieving Fairtrade’s vision and delivering impact for farmers and workers.
Fairtrade International coordinates Fairtrade’s work across the world. Based in Bonn, Germany, it sets international Fairtrade standards, organises support for producers around the world, develops global Fairtrade strategy, and promotes trade justice internationally. The global strategy and direction of Fairtrade movement, with consultation across the system, is also led by them.
The work of building a market for Fairtrade products is carried out by national Fairtrade organisations. The Fairtrade Foundation is one such member responsible for Fairtrade’s work in the UK. Other markets include Canada, Norway, Germany, Poland, Italy as well as new marketing organisations in India, South Korea, Hong Kong and Kenya. You can read more about these here.
The Fairtrade certification system is run by an independent company called FLO-CERT. By checking compliance with Fairtrade Standards, FLO-CERT ensures that the relevant social and environmental standards are met for the raw materials and products that carry the FAIRTRADE Mark and that producers receive the Fairtrade Minimum Price and Fairtrade Premium. FLO-CERT auditors are highly qualified, usually based in the countries and regions where producers are located, and familiar with local cultures, languages, and legal systems.
Most notably, Fairtrade Producer networks are regional associations that Fairtrade certified producer organizations may join if they wish. They represent small-scale producers, workers and other producer stakeholders. The three networks are Fairtrade Africa, the CLAC and Network of Asian and Pacific Producers.
To read more about the global movement and Fairtrade’s governance, click here.
Fairtrade Foundation Senior Management Team
- Chief Executive: Michael Gidney
- Director of Product Integrity: David Meller
- Director of Commercial Relations: Euan Venters
- Director of Policy and Public Affairs: Barbara Crowther
- Director of Public Engagement: Cheryl McGechie
- Interim Director of Finance and IT: Jonathan Dees
Fairtrade Foundation Board members
- Chair: Michael Jary (Senior Partner, OC & C Strategy Consultants)
- Vice Chair: Jane Frost (Chief Executive, Market Research Society)
- Treasurer: Paul Thompson (Founder and CEO, Life Company Consolidation Group Ltd)
- Arun Ambatipudi (General Secretary, Chetna Organic Farmers Association, India)
- Barney Tallack (Director of Strategy, Oxfam International)
- Didier Dallemagne (Consultant, Executive Coaching)
- Elizabeth Sideris (Director of Human Resources, Cancer Research UK)
- Liz May (Head of Policy, Traidcraft)
- Paul Farthing (Former Director of Fundraising, NSPCC)
- Rebecca Rowland (Director, Cogentys Ltd)
Certification Committee Members
This committee reviews all audit reports for Fairtrade Foundation licensees, and advises on certification policies and implementation.
- Chair: Nabs Suma (Chief Executive, FairOrganic Solutions)
- Hannah Brooke (Head of Certification, Soil Association)
- Simon Wright (Director, Organic and Fairplus)