Measuring and monitoring Fairtrade impact

The stringent Fairtrade Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) program supports ongoing education and continuous improvement.

Monitoring and evaluation is used by Fairtrade International to increase our understanding of the benefits to Fairtrade certified producer organizations. It allows us as an international system to create recommendations for increased impact and effectiveness—to improve our standards, producer service offerings, certifications, and more—enabling us to deliver more impact for the farmers, workers and their organizations.

The Fairtrade International MEL Program (compliant with ISEALS’s Impact Codes) collects monitoring data annually from Fairtrade certified producer organizations. Progress in markets is monitored by the national Fairtrade organization in each country. So, in the United States, Fairtrade America monitors data such as sales of Fairtrade certified products and the awareness of the International FAIRTRADE Mark.

This collated monitoring data allows us to build an understanding of how Fairtrade certification is benefiting producers across product categories, location and in their cooperatives or organizations. In-depth research is essential to assess the impacts and outcomes of Fairtrade certification. Explore this data more by reviewing Fairtrade International’s yearly Monitoring and Evaluation Reports, published annually since 2009.

View highlights from the 2016 edition of our Monitoring and Impact Report below

The Fairtrade MEL system commissions research on an ongoing basis, which is essential to provide a full overview of Fairtrade certified producer groups, the impact Fairtrade has had for them and their communities and what has led to the reported outcomes. It provides us with insight to the perceptions and experiences of farmers and workers and gives the essential contextual background to explain monitoring data. Read all of our reports here.

One of the most important things that the Fairtrade MEL system finds is that our work is not done. Read more about where Fairtrade needs to do more.