Fairtrade Fortnight 2017
NVTV - Focal Point - Monday march 13, 2017

Click HERE to Play Video - START 9:47

Fairtrade Questions and Answers

What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is a trading partnership between developing country producers and developed country consumers. A significant amount of the products we buy are grown or produced by farmers in the developing world, who are not paid a fair price for their work and forced into poverty. Fairtrade was established as a mechanism to ensure developing world farmers are provided a guaranteed minimum price that covers sustainable production and the ability to trade in global markets without exploitation.

What is the difference between Fairtrade, Fair Trade and fair trade?

Fairtrade - the certification mark provided by the UK Fairtrade Foundation or Fairtrade Ireland to products and buyers to verify full transparency of the entire process from origin to store shelf and international Fairtrade standards are met. These standards are overseen globally by Fairtrade International (FLO) and a certification body FLO-CERT. The Fairtrade mark is unique in its primary objective to tackle poverty and achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. It is considered the gold standard of ethical labelling with 50% of Fairtrade owned by the producers.

Fair Trade - the Fair Trade movement in the wider sense. It aims to obtain better prices, working conditions, sustainability and trade terms for farmers and workers in the developing world. This may include other labelling initiatives under the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO).   

fair trade – the general act of buying, selling or exchanging products in a way that is fair. Does not imply the standards of either Fairtrade or Fair Trade.

*These three terms are not the same and should not be used interchangeably.

What is the Fairtrade certification mark and its standards?

The universally recognised green and blue coloured Fairtrade mark is the most common independent consumer certification label for Fair Trade products.

The mark can only appear on products from the developing world which meet international Fairtrade standards.  It guarantees that the producer receives a minimum price for their goods that covers their costs of sustainable production and a social premium for direct investment related to further development. These international standards were established to support the sustainable development of small-scale producers and workers in the poorest countries in the world.  It certifies products and not companies.

How long has the Fairtrade certification been around?

It was launched in 1995, starting with 2 Fairtrade products. In 2016, we have over 4,500 Fairtrade certified products.

What is the Fairtrade minimum price?

The lowest price that a Fairtrade buyer must pay the producer and is established from a detailed consultation with Fairtrade producers and traders to cover the costs of sustainable production. It is different for each country and commodity with a review every three years. If the market price decreases they are guaranteed the minimum price and thus protected, but if the market price increases they are paid more.

What is the social premium?

Fairtrade certified products besides guaranteeing a minimum price, also provide an additional social premium to farmers and producers for them to decide how best to invest in their communities. Examples include building health centres, schools, improving roads and infrastructure, scholarships to study at university, and many more community and social development projects that increase sustainability and a viable future.

How can you be guaranteed a product is from a Fairtrade producer?

Trading standards legislation for the Fairtrade system require that commodities be physically traceable. This guarantees all stages of the process from origin to store shelf, and ensures Fairtrade items are kept separate from non-Fairtrade or Fair Trade products.

2020 - Celebrating 25 Years of the Fairtrade Certification Mark

2020 - Celebrating 25 Years of the Fairtrade Certification Mark

History of Fairtrade in Northern Ireland

Key Moments for Fairtrade, Fair Trade and fair trade in Northern Ireland

1970              Oxfam supplies crafts and cards from the developing world.

1975              Tearcraft becoming Created importers of developing world craft products.

1979              Traidcraft become importers of developing world products, including food.

1980              Tanzania Tanica coffee becomes the 1st fair trade product to be imported and part of Traidcraft catalogue.

1981-5           Traidcraft pioneer the first fair trade tea, coffee, sugar and cholcolate into the UK market.

1989              International Fair Trade Association launched, which later becomes the World Fair Trade Organisation.

1991              Café Direct established and Fair Trade product lines are launched into supermarkets.

1992              Fairtrade Foundation was set up by CAFOD, Oxfam, Christian Aid, Traidcraft, Global Justice Now and the National Federation of Women's Institutes.

1995              Fairtrade certification label is launched; Clipper Gold tea / Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate become the 1st Fairtrade certified products to be launched into supermarkets.

1998              Divine chocolate is launched; 1st Fairtrade producer visit and Fairtrade Fortnight celebrated.

2000              Fairtrade certified bananas launched into supermarkets and independent retailers.

2005              Belfast becomes our 1st Fairtrade City (UK Fairtrade Foundation) and Fairtrade is embedded within the national educational curriculum.

2006              Belfast becomes our 1st Fairtrade City in the world to gain dual accreditation (Fairtrade Ireland).

2006              Department of Finance and Personnel (DfP) produces procurement guide for Fairtrade products; Queen’s University Belfast becomes our 1st Fairtrade University

2007              Sainsbury’s shifts to 100% Fairtrade bananas and the Fairtrade product range approaches 1000.

2008              Newry becomes a Fairtrade City & Dundonald becomes our 1st Fairtrade Village; 1st Fairtrade Business Awards held; Tate & Lyle shifts to 100% Fairtrade sugar.

2009              Warrenpoint becomes our 1st Fairtrade Town & St. Mary’s University College becomes a Fairtrade University; UK Parliament and House of Lords commits £12 million to Fairtrade, specifically FLO to increase Fairtrade certification of producers and increasing Fairtrade product lines; Nestle Kit Kat 4 finger & Cadbury’s Dairy Milk shifts to 100% Fairtrade chocolate.

2010              Antrim becomes our 1st Fairtrade Borough & Northern Ireland Executive - Sustainable Development Strategy published; 1st International Fairtrade Conference held in Belfast; Department of the Environment Minister as portfolio for local government pledges support across Northern Ireland; Starbuck’s espresso ground coffee and Green & Black’s chocolate shifts to 100% Fairtrade.

2011              Bangor becomes a Fairtrade Town & our 1st Fairtrade road signs erected for Antrim.

2012              Banbridge becomes our 1st Fairtrade Zone (includes Dromore, Gilford, Loughbrickland, Rathfriland and Kinallen); Ulster University becomes a Fairtrade University; Fairtrade road signs erected for Bangor; Business in the Community (BITC) – Fairtrade A Guide for Your Business launched; Northern Ireland Assembly Fairtrade motion passed at Stormont unanimously (cross-party).

2013              Criteria agreed to make Northern Ireland a Fairtrade devolved region; Rathlin Island becomes our 1st Fairtrade Island; Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMdFM) – Sustainable Development Statutory Duty, A Guide for Public Authorities launched; Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) - Fairtrade and Corporate Social Responsibility conference held; Ben & Jerry’s ice creams shifts to 100% Fairtrade; OFMdFM Ministers pledge support for Fairtrade and across the Northern Ireland Executive to the campaign.

2014              All Party Group on Fairtrade launched at Stormont; Derry/Londonderry becomes a Fairtrade City; Northern Ireland Executive’s International Relations Strategy produced; Fairtrade road signs erected for Belfast; Review of Public Administration for local councils implemented; European Union (EU) Public Procurement Directive passed into law making it easier to choose Fair Trade products.

2015              Ballyclare becomes a Fairtrade Town & Newtownabbey a Fairtrade Borough; Fairtrade product range exceeds 4,000 products; 20 years of Fairtrade and the Fairtrade certification mark celebrated across Northern Ireland. Four more local councils pass resolutions to support a Fairtrade Borough/District/City campaign.

2016              All government Departments/Northern Ireland Office achieve Fairtrade goals and implementation; Remaining local councils pass resolutions to support a Fairtrade Borough/District/City campaign; Parliamentary Group for Fairtrade launched at Westminster Parliament modelled on Northern Ireland campaign; All Party Group on Fairtrade re-constituted; Colleges Northern Ireland pass Fairtrade policy to support our six regional Colleges and working towards becoming a Fairtrade College.

2017              Fairtrade Regional Conference held in Derry/Londonderry; Fairtrade road signs erected for Derry/Londonderry; 1st Fairtrade Fortnight Billboards launched around Belfast as part of the wider Northern Ireland campaign to make Northern Ireland a Fairtrade devolved region; Nicaraguan Fairtrade producers tour all council areas across Northern Ireland; Bewleys switches to 100% Fairtrade coffee; The Co-operative becomes the 1st UK retailer to source 100% Fairtrade cocoa; All Party Group on Fairtrade re-constituted; Ards and North Down becomes a Fairtrade Borough, including Towns of Bangor, Comber, Donaghadee, Holywood and Newtownards; Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon becomes a Fairtrade Borough, including Banbridge Zone, Armagh City and Towns of Craigavon, Lurgan and Portadown as well as Tandragee, Markethill, Pontzpass, Keady, Richill, Hamiltonsbawn and Waringstown; Lisburn and Castlereagh becomes a Fairtrade City, including Lisburn City and Towns of Carryduff, Dundonald, Hillsborough/Culcavy and Moira; Derry City and Strabane becomes our 1st Fairtrade District, including Derry City and Town of Strabane; Stranmillis University College & The Open University working towards becoming a Fairtrade University; All Party Group on Fairtrade re-constituted; Remaining councils working towards completing Fairtrade Borough/District campaign, including named Towns; Fairtrade report being compiled and audited independently against set criteria to declare Northern Ireland a Fairtrade devolved region.  

2017   June 19: Declaration and Launch of Report for Northern Ireland's attainment of Fairtrade devolved regional status at stormont.

2018            Indian and Hondouran Fairtrade producers' tour of council areas across Northern Ireland; Remaining five councils working towards completing Fairtrade Borough/District campaign, including named Towns; The Open University attains Fairtrade status. Stranmillis University College attains Fairtrade status. Ards and North Down; Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; Belfast City; Derry City and Strabane; Lisburn and Castlereagh City all renew their Fairtrade Borough/District/City status, respectively; Fairtrade flowerbed planted at Hillsborough roundabout on A1 Motorway; Fairtrade featured at Cultural Night Belfast; Fairtrade initiative encourages schools to bake a difference with gingerbread; Newry, Mourne and Down becomes a Fairtrade District, including Newry City and Towns of Ballynahinch, Downpatrick, Newcastle, Saintfield and Warrenpoint; Traidcraft hosts conference in Belfast; Greggs expands Fairtrade offerings with new winter drinks; Fairtrade product range exceeds 5,000 products. All Party Group on Fairtrade holds AGM and members elect officers for 2018-2019.

2019 Antrim and Newtownabbey renew their Fairtrade Borough status; Causeway Coast & Glens becomes a Fairtrade Borough, including the Towns of Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady, Portrush and Portstewart & Rathlin Island. Remaining three councils working towards completing Fairtrade Borough/District campaign, including all named Towns; Fairtrade Regional Conferences held in the UK & Ireland; Dominican Republic Fairtrade banana producer’s tour across Northern Ireland; Honest Organic and Fairtrade Coffee launches in Northern Ireland and Ireland; All Party Group on Fairtrade holds AGM and members elect officers for 2019-2020; Fairtrade products served with the Fairtrade certification mark flag proudly displayed at the148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush.