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Partnership with producers: the foundation for Fairtrade’s success

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

Fairtrade International’s latest annual report, “For Producers, With Producers” reveals the foundations behind Fairtrade’s consistent strong sales growth. Fairtrade farmers and workers share ownership of the Fairtrade system and are active participants in standard-setting and are driving change in their communities through Fairtrade’s innovative programmes. The number of producer organisations grew by 10 % last year to 991, representing over 1.2 million farmers and workers. Fairtrade premium payments also grew to reach 65 million euros. (Fairtrade International / Vicky Pauschert, picture to the left: The front cover shows Wilson Pedroso Lima, a coffee farmer at UNIPASV coffee cooperative in Brazil. Picture below to the right: Luis Escobar Lara with Victor Samuel Galix working at the coffee drying patio at COCAOL - a certified Fairtrade coffee producer in Santa Maria del Real,Olancho, Honduras)

Fairtrade International’s highlights from 2011-2012 include:

Producer leadership in decision-making:

  • The historic decision to increase producer representation in the General Assembly to 50 %, an equal voice in Fairtrade’s highest decision-making body
  • The Vice Chair position is now held by a producer network representative, Marike de Peña
  • North African producers launched a new regional Fairtrade network, joining Fairtrade Africa governance
  • Fairtrade producers addressed Members of the European Union Parliament and the press at the COP17 climate change talks in Durban

Programmes that meet producers’ needs:

  • 47 % of Fairtrade International’s budget is spent on direct services for producers, up from 42 % in 2010
  • 52 liaison officers offer support and training on the ground
  • Bold new workers’ rights strategy is approved by the Board

Partnerships increase impact for farmers and workers:

  • The Fairtrade Access Fund was announced as the first investment fund to offer small farmer organisations longer-term loans, a collaboration with Incofin IM and Grameen Foundation
  • Major new commitments from Mars and Puma, among others
  • First ever Fairtrade producer conference in Central Asia with UNDP - Uzbek dried fruit producers now expect over US$ 150,000 in Fairtrade Premium

Strong global standards:

  • Fairtrade standards are available for 300 raw products, 3 times more than in 2006
  • 78 % of Fairtrade minimum prices and premiums were revised in the last three years
  • 1400 producers were asked for their input on standards in 2011 – almost half responded

A market leader: 


  • The Fairtrade Mark is the world’s most recognized ethical label, according to a global survey
  • Fairtrade products are available to consumers in over 120 countries
  • Shoppers spent € 4.9 billion on Fairtrade products in 2011, 12 % more than 2010
  • 55 % of bananas bought in Switzerland are Fairtrade certified

The full 2011-12 Fairtrade International annual report is available here.








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