Person inspecting seeds on a cocoa plant.

fair trade matters

Simply put, fair trade is about ensuring that workers in a company’s supply chain are being treated and paid fairly. It should serve as a guarantee that an ingredient or product was traded in a more ethical way, which supports better working conditions, improves livelihoods and protects the environment.

For products to achieve fair trade certification, producers, and businesses must meet a set of internationally agreed standards which have been independently certified. Once a product is certified, the producer or the cooperative responsible for that fair trade product will receive a minimum price for their goods. This lowest price will never drop below the relevant market level, meaning that growers and fair-trade communities will never lose out financially.

Further to that guaranteed lowest price, an additional sum of money known as a Fairtrade Premium is provided for workers to invest in projects they choose. They decide together how to spend the additional resources to reach their goals, such as improving their farming, businesses, or health and education in their community.

Beyond competitive wages and the security of salaries, fair trade certification provides additional social benefits. There is a focus on ending discrimination in the workplace by ensuring that everyone has access to a job, regardless of their gender or religion. Higher household incomes also reduce the usage of child labor so children can benefit from education instead of having to work to support their families.

The Fairtrade program also works to protect the environment. Farmers have to improve soil and water quality, manage pests, avoid using harmful chemicals, manage waste, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect biodiversity in order to sell Fairtrade products.

Some of the most common global fair trade certified products are bananas, cocoa, coffee, flowers, sugar and tea and cotton. Fairtrade products and ingredients can be identified by a fair-trade mark on the product label.

At Batch, our cocoa butter from West Africa and our coconut oil from the Philippines are certified by Fairtrade International.

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