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My local store doesn’t offer Fairtrade products, what can I do?

Ask them! Letting a shop know you want more Fairtrade products is the best way to make sure they get stocked. Contact Fairtrade Campaigns for “product request cards” that are a more formal way of requesting ethical products.       When your shop starts stocking Fairtrade products, pass on the word and get others to support them in turn!

Why doesn’t the retail price factor in the price of a Fairtrade product?

People often question how much of what they pay for a Fairtrade product on the shelf goes back to the farmers and workers, and how this amount differs to a product not sold under Fairtrade terms. This may seem like an easy way to explain the impact that Fairtrade has from a consumer’s viewpoint, however it doesn’t get to the core issues and inequalities of the traditional trading systems.       For the farmers and workers we work with, the value of Fairtrade doesn’t lie in the selling price of the product on shelf, but the production costs and market prices. Numerous factors impact and play a part in determining the retail price paid by consumers. Consider the following factors, which must be taken into account by a coffee or cocoa producer selling into the conventional market:       - Shifting market prices – The percentage of what a producer would receive from the sale of a bag of coffee would change, depending on the international price of coffee at the time. - If they own the farm they work or if they are hired labor on another’s farm. - If the cooperative does any processing of the cocoa or coffee before selling it on. - If the cooperative sells to local buyers or at auctions, of if they also act as the exporter of the product. - The conditions of local trade have significant differences across the world, including whether the industry is independently managed or regulated by governments. - Costs of production also differ across the world. Once the Fairtrade commodity is sold to a Fairtrade importer, the following costs are comparable to those for non-Fairtrade products. This includes costs such as transport, insurance, import taxes, processing, packing, storage, distribution, promotion and day-to-day store costs.       Fairtrade does not have any say or power to effect retail costs or product profit margins. When producers are paid fairly up front, rather than after a product, that is the best way to ensure they are receiving a fair deal.

Why aren’t handicrafts Fairtrade certified?

Fairtrade was created to cover commodities, such as cocoa, coffee and cotton. These type of products represent a large percentage of international trade and have traditionally not ensured that the producer gets a fair deal.       Fairtrade Standards are revised continually in order to stay on top of changing market factors. Sign up to our newsletter to be informed of any changes regarding handicrafts.

Why do some products claim they are “fairly traded” but do not carry the FAIRTRADE Mark?

Some organizations have been trading fairly for many years, before the creation of Fairtrade. The creation of new Fairtrade Standards is a long and considered process, and many of these organizations sell products that do not fall under them (like handicrafts), instead following the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) 10 principles of fair trade.       Some companies create ‘fair trade’ claims without the independent, third party foundation that Fairtrade has, or without being a member of a network such as WFTO. Consumers should question these claims. Look for the FAIRTRADE Mark as a trustworthy way to know that farmers and workers are actually receiving a better deal and fairer trading conditions.

Who is Fairtrade International?

Fairtrade International is made up of its global Fairtrade organizations, like Fairtrade America. As a system, Fairtrade is half-owned and governed by our farmers and workers, who have 50% of the votes in the Fairtrade General Assembly. Fairtrade International is responsible for the development of the Fairtrade Standards for products to support farmers and workers.

What is the FAIRTRADE Mark?

The FAIRTRADE Mark is the most recognized ethical label globally. When you see the FAIRTRADE Mark on a product, you know that it has been certified under Fairtrade’s internationally recognized standards to offer a better deal for farmers and workers. The Mark does not endorse a company’s entire business, but rather that Fairtrade ingredients in a particular product have met the agreed standards.

What product categories does Fairtrade certify?

Food products: - Coffee - Cocoa - Fresh Fruit & Fresh Vegetables like bananas and avocados as well as dried fruits and juices - Sugar & Sweeteners like honey and agave syrup - Tea - Wine - Rice - Nuts/Oil Seeds/Oil - Spices - Quinoa       Other products: - Cotton - Beauty products and cosmetics - Sports Balls - Flowers and Ornamental Plants - Precious metals (Silver, Platinum, and Gold)       New products are added regularly. Email us at questions@fairtradeamerica.org to see if a particular product is Fairtrade certified.

How do I stock Fairtrade certified products in my shop?

Take a look at our business section to learn more about buying and selling Fairtrade products.

Where can I buy Fairtrade products?

Everywhere! Fairtrade products are in almost every major grocery store as well as cafes, convenience stores, cafeterias and more.

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