Fruit and juices

Millions of small-scale farmers and plantation workers in developing countries depend on the production, processing and sale of fruit for their livelihoods. Globally around 62 million tonnes of major tropical products such as mangos, pineapple, papayas and avocados are cultivated each year.

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A Fairtrade fruit farmer in Brazil.
Image Maurice Ressel

About 98 percent of tropical fruits are grown in developing countries, where Fairtrade traditionally supports small-scale farmers and plantation workers. Fairtrade certifies both fresh and dried fruit as well fruit for juices.

Choosing Fairtrade fruit and juices makes a difference

While the fruit trade is often lucrative for multinational corporations, smallholder farmers and plantations workers tend to suffer under insecure conditions coupled with low sales income and wages.

Small-scale farmers can have difficulty meeting the array of hygienic and aesthetic demands placed on their products, which can require serious investment in inputs and processing. Fairtrade supports small-scale farmers to adopt more efficient cultivation methods so that they can offset rising costs through sustainable productivity gains.

Plantation workers in the fresh fruit industry are often in a precarious position, lacking labour contracts, good wages and limits on excessive overtime. Workers' attempts to organize against such conditions can lead to summary dismissals and blacklisting. Fairtrade trains workers on their rights and supports them to organize, and workers decide for themselves how to spend the Fairtrade Premium. Fairtrade also requires and monitors that workers have contracts, receive their wages regularly and have sufficient resting times. Since workers face challenges across the agricultural sector, Fairtrade works collaboratively with other certification schemes as a founding member of the Global Living Wage Coalition to increase workers’ wages.

The industry is also marked by environmental and safety concerns, including the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers as well as resultant ground water contamination. Fairtrade Standards require stringent environmental and safety measures to protect farmers’ and workers’ health as well as the environment, banning a slew of hazardous materials entirely.

And how does Fairtrade benefit farmers and worker in general?

  • 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.

Fairtrade fruits and juices are available in many shops. When you choose these delicious products, you are contributing to positive change for farmers and workers all over the world. Pretty sweet!

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!