Composite products

You eat them all the time! Composite products is our way of describing any product that mixes multiple ingredients – like ice cream, cookies or chocolate bars.

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Fairtrade has special rules for composite products. Many of our favourite foods mix ingredients to create a tasty treat.
Image © Miriam Ersch

Many Fairtrade products are self-contained – think coffee beans or bananas. But for products that combine ingredients, Fairtrade has special rules that enable businesses to include Fairtrade ingredients in their recipes. At the same time, this means Fairtrade farmers and workers benefit from increased sales opportunities.

Choosing Fairtrade products makes a difference

If you think about it, many of your favourite products are composite – a mosaic of different parts combined into a satisfying whole. Take ice cream: it mixes ingredients for which there are Fairtrade options (like cocoa, vanilla, sugar or fruits) and others, like milk, which Fairtrade doesn’t certify.

For farmers and workers producing the ‘raw ingredients’, the possibility to include their goods in composite products opens many new opportunities. The more sales they make on Fairtrade terms, the more benefits they see in their lives and communities.

For you, composite products simply mean a much greater variety of Fairtrade products is available.

And because the Fairtrade ingredients are certified according to same Fairtrade Standards, producers still receive all the same benefits.

  • The Fairtrade Minimum Price is the minimum that producers are paid when selling their products through Fairtrade. It aims to cover the average costs of sustainably producing their goods and acts as a safety net when market prices drop. Producers can get the market price when this is higher and can always negotiate for more.

  • The Fairtrade Premium is an extra sum of money paid on top of the selling price that farmers or workers invest in projects of their choice. They decide together how to spend the Fairtrade Premium to reach their goals, such as improving their farming, businesses, or health and education in their community.

  • The Fairtrade Standards are the requirements that producers and the businesses who buy their goods have to meet for a product to be Fairtrade certified. The Standards ensure fairer terms of trade between farmers and buyers, protect workers’ rights, and provide the framework for producers to build thriving farms and organizations.

For composite products to carry a FAIRTRADE Mark, they must contain at least a minimum amount of Fairtrade ingredients. Fairtrade requires businesses to transparently display the composition of Fairtrade and non-Fairtrade ingredients on the finished product’s packaging.

The bottom line is pretty simple: Same standards, same benefits, more opportunities for Fairtrade producers, and more choices for shoppers – what’s not to like?

Looking for Fairtrade Products?

Fairtrade products are widely available. The blue countries and territories on the map below have Fairtrade organizations that promote Fairtrade products. Their websites often include a product finder to show you the full variety of Fairtrade products near you. Even if there isn't a Fairtrade organization where you live, Fairtrade products may still be available – look for our familiar marks on products!