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Fairtrade Fortnight

Mr Banana man 015
Mr Banana Man with Alun Jones (Host of the Ponty Rugby Show)

After “Mr. Banana Man’s” appearance at the GTFM Studio on Community Link On Monday 29th February, he has been spotted at various places in the Pontypridd area raising awareness of “Fairtrade fortnight” (Monday 29th February – Sunday 13th March)

He was seen making purchases of goods in Sainsbury’s, that were approved by the Fairtrade Foundation.

The Fairtrade Foundation is the independent non-profit making organisation that licenses use of the “FAIRTRADE” Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards.

Joining the pupils of Ysgol Evan James for St David's Day
Joining the pupils of Ysgol Evan James for St David’s Day

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.


Daily thoughts for Fairtrade fortnight.

1 What is Fairtrade?  

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

2 What is the Fairtrade Foundation?  

The Fairtrade Foundation is the independent non-profit organisation that licenses use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards.

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.

3 What is the FAIRTRADE Mark?  

It’s an independent consumer label you see on a product that meets the international Fairtrade standards. It shows that the product has been certified to offer a better deal to the farmers and workers involved.

IMG_07464 What are Fairtrade standards?  

Fairtrade standards comprise both minimum social, economic and environmental requirements, which producers must meet to be certified, plus progress requirements that encourage the continuous improvement of develop farmers’ organisations or the situation of estate workers

5 What is a Fairtrade certified producer group?  

This is either an association of farmers or a company dependent on hired labour that produces one or more commodities for which there are Fairtrade standards and that has been certified to meet those standards. Once certified, they are added to the Fairtrade product register and registered companies can buy from them under Fairtrade terms.

Some Fairtrade certified producer groups are able to sell their entire production under Fairtrade terms, while others sell only a very small percentage and badly need more buyers to offer a Fairtrade deal. It is only by increasing the amount sold as Fairtrade that producer groups are able to receive a steady stream of additional income to improve their lives.

6 What is the Fairtrade minimum price?  

The Fairtrade minimum price defines the lowest possible price that a buyer of Fairtrade products must pay the producer. The minimum price is set based on a consultative process with Fairtrade farmers, workers and traders and guarantees that producer groups receive a price which covers what it costs them to grow their crop. When the market price is higher than the Fairtrade minimum price, the trader must pay the market price.

IMG_07477 What is the Fairtrade premium?

It’s what makes Fairtrade unique. It’s an additional sum of money paid on top of the Fairtrade minimum price that farmers and workers invest in social, environmental and economic developmental projects to improve their businesses and their communities. They decide democratically by committee how to invest the premium.

8 What is a Fairtrade Town or County Borough?  

The Fairtrade Foundation certify products, nothing else. But they do run campaigns with local community groups aimed at boosting awareness and understanding of trade issues, and promoting the buying of Fairtrade products as a way for everyone, no matter who they are, to use the power of their purchase to make a difference to the lives of farmers and workers.

These campaigns have a set of goals and the town or borough receives a certificate from the Fairtrade Foundation when they are achieved. Once a local community declares its status as a Fairtrade Town or County Borough it must be committed to continuing campaigning and awareness raising

9 How many Fairtrade products in the UK are there?  

Thousands!  The Fairtrade Foundation have licensed over 4,500 Fairtrade certified products for sale through retail and catering outlets in the UK.

IMG_077210 How big is the UK Fairtrade market?  

The UK is one of the world’s leading Fairtrade markets, with more products and more awareness of Fairtrade than anywhere else. Almost one in three bananas sold in the UK is Fairtrade. Fairtrade sales in 2012 were £1.57bn.

11 What product categories does Fairtrade certify?  

Fairtrade standards exist for the following products:

Food products:– Bananas – Cocoa – Coffee- Dried Fruit- Fresh Fruit & Fresh Vegetables- Honey- Juices- Nuts/Oil Seeds/Oil – Rice – Spices – Sugar – Tea – Wine

Non-food products:– Beauty products- Cotton- Cut Flowers- Ornamental Plants – Sports Balls – Gold – Platinum – Silver

IMG_077712 Where can I buy Fairtrade products? 

You’ll find Fairtrade products in supermarkets, independent shops, cafés, restaurants, through catering suppliers and wholesales, as well as online.

13 How much of the price we pay for Fairtrade products goes back to the producers?  

Whatever the price of the product on the shelf, only the FAIRTRADE Mark ensures that the producers have received what is agreed as a fairer price, as well as the Fairtrade premium to invest in the future of their communities. The Fairtrade price applies at the point where the producer organisation sells to the next person in the supply chain (usually an exporter or importer). It is not calculated as a proportion of the final retail price, which is negotiated between the product manufacturer and the retailer.