Fairtrade Sourcing

Sustainable trade and production are no longer a novelty: they reflect consumer demand in mainstream markets. With consumers expecting ever greater transparency, companies and brands are increasingly integrating sustainability into business practices. Fairtrade is a partner on the journey to sustainability, for consumers, businesses, and farmers and workers.

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Recently harvested cocoa pod with dried cocoa beans.
Image © James A. Rodríguez

Fairtrade offers two models, both of which yield tangible benefits for producers while complementing the drive for sustainability: There is the classic FAIRTRADE Mark, now with greater clarity about the ingredients behind it, and there is the new Fairtrade Sourced Ingredient model (FSI), with a new mark.

With these models, companies and brands can better offer their customers ethical and transparent options that satisfy their demands for sustainable products. The models aim to enable farmers and workers to sell more of their products on Fairtrade terms, thus improving their living and working conditions, boosting their productivity and income, and reducing damage to the environment.

Supporting sustainable livelihoods through Fairtrade sourcing

The more producers sell on Fairtrade terms, the more they see tangible benefits for their families and communities. Through fairer prices, the Fairtrade Premium, better terms of trade and more stable contracts, producers are able to take more control of their businesses and invest in their future.

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Rice farmers used some Fairtrade Premium funds to make a sewing and craft centre for women, to supplement their income.
Image © Didier Gentilhomme

What is the Fairtrade premium?

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 and democratically how to spend the Fairtrade Premium to reach their goals, such as improving their farming, businesses, or health and education in their community. Farmers and workers know best what their priorities and needs are.

Since 2014, Fairtrade farmers and workers have received well over half a billion euros in Fairtrade Premium.

This is a unique benefit enabled by your decision to buy Fairtrade products.

Expanding the ways in which producers can get access to world markets on Fairtrade terms is vital to achieving sustainable livelihoods.

Fairtrade created different sourcing models to do just that. These have been developed with and approved by farmers and workers themselves, thanks to the fact that producers are 50 percent owners of the Fairtrade system through their representation in the General Assembly.

Fairtrade’s certification according to rigorous standards that are independently verified remains the same. And our sourcing models offer ways for companies and brands to source individual ingredients, and give consumers greater choice and transparency of ethically and sustainably sourced products.