It’s time to celebrate the good in the world so Fairtrade Australia New Zealand (ANZ) is excited to be working with our partners to promote Fairtrade and our quest for fairness during Fairtrade Fortnight (6-19 August).
As interest in ethical consumerism grows, Fairtrade continues to support shoppers to make sustainable purchasing decisions. For Fairtrade Fortnight in 2021, this has resulted in the development of some great collaborations including a prize (for both Australia and New Zealand) of a year’s worth of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream and San Churros giving away 20,000 coffees to its members.
“We are excited to see our suppliers, like Aldi and Woolworths, really showing off their Fairtrade connections and our wonderful licensees are also out and proud about supporting Fairtrade and why it’s important,” said Molly Harriss Olson, CEO of Fairtrade ANZ.
“Fairtrade is really committed to the idea of making the world fairer for everyone – that means we support farmers to be paid fairly for their products, but we also support a system that is fairer for the environment, for children and for women,” she said.
“Fair-washing is rife at the moment, so we want to make sure that people know about how our robust system works and why it’s life changing for all the people who are part of it.”
Fairtrade International is an independent non-profit organisation representing 1.7 million small-scale farmers and workers worldwide. You can tell a product that’s Fairtrade certified by the mark on the packaging which looks like a farmer waving.
The Fairtrade journey starts with the farmers and workers in developing countries who form cooperatives. If they decide they want to become Fairtrade certified, they go through a process where they have to agree to meet a range of standards around governance, working conditions, environmental management and gender equality. Fairtrade supports them to meet these standards.
Once certified, the cooperative/producer organisation can trade all over the world but anyone buying Fairtrade products must agree to pay (at least) the Fairtrade Minimum Price (FMP). This price is set by Fairtrade based on what the farmers need to be paid a living wage and is often much higher than the market price. For example, for coffee, the FMP has been higher than the market price for most of the last five years (except this year, when the market price has soared because of supply issues).
In addition to the FMP, the producers also receive another sum of money called the Fairtrade Premium. This money doesn’t go directly to individual farmers but instead goes to the cooperative and the whole community decides together how that money should be spent. This includes projects like wells for drinking water, hospitals and farming equipment.
Fairtrade continues to work with producers after they are certified to encourage product improvement and development as well as ongoing support in areas of fair pay, gender equality and sustainability.
Fairtrade Australia New Zealand works directly with local businesses who sell Fairtrade products, and to increase awareness of Fairtrade in both Australia and New Zealand. We also work with farmers in our region, especially PNG, Timor Leste and Fiji.
“Ultimately, if more people support Fairtrade products like chocolate, coffee, flowers and cotton then whole communities benefit. We’re here to tell you that small decisions can make a big difference,” says Ms Harriss Olson.