Field of small banana plants in the Dominican Republic.

Supporting each other through the COVID-19 crisis

We’re all coming to terms with what COVID-19 means for our lives, livelihoods, communities, organizations and supply chains. Thank you for reading this when you’re busy adapting ways of working and living in these unprecedented times. We hope you are staying safe.

Woman wearing mask speaks to the 2020 graduating class of the Women's Leadership School in Cote d'Ivoire.
Speaker shares words of wisdom at the graduation of the most recent class of the Women’s School of Leadership in Cote d’Ivoire.

At the Fairtrade America, our first priority is to follow government guidance and advice to look after the welfare of our staff along with the farmers, workers and businesses that we collaborate with every day. Even as we distance ourselves from each other and the wider world, we must remember that we are all so connected. We are in this together.

This situation shows so clearly how connected we all are and that global problems and pandemics affect us all, whether that’s the farmers and workers we rely on or anyone else in the supply chain. Uncertainty is one of the hardest things to deal with, for all of us. In these uncertain times, the safety net of Fairtrade’s Minimum Price and Premium is even more vital to those who need it now and in the coming months, as global trade goes through unprecedented stresses.

What we're doing to support farmers & workers

Fairtrade is adapting

Farming is a challenging field in the best of times. As soon as the COVID-19 Crisis began we knew that we needed to adapt to meet the changing needs of the nearly 2 million farmers and workers in the Fairtrade network. We quickly took action not only to meet these new health & safety realities but also to plan for the economic shifts happening now and in the future.

Fairtrade brands are stepping up

During COVID-19 crisis, the Fairtrade community in the U.S. continues to honor a commitment to ethical buying practices, which build resilient communities of farmers and workers around the world. The farmers and workers Fairtrade serves are some of the most disadvantaged and the least prepared for a pandemic.

Here are some ways this globally oriented community is now leaning on their ethical values and integrity to serve their local communities.

  • Endangered Species Chocolate is saying “thank you” to health care workers close to their headquarters in central Indiana with a donation of 36,000 bags of Fairtrade chocolate.
  • Navitas Organics has donated $10,000+ worth of products to local food banks and 35,000 shelf-stable, single-serve superfoods to New York City and Bay Area CA hospitals in addition to donating masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to Bay Area, CA hospitals.
  • Highground is donating their Fairtrade coffee to City Harvest food bank in NYC, Raritan Bay Medical Center in New Jersey, and the George Washington Hospital ICU Ward in D.C. to express appreciation and gratitude for everyday heroes.
  • Organic India is giving free access to a powerful combination of herbs used for centuries to support and nourish the immune system, sign up for your free kit here.
  • KIND has launched the Frontline Impact Project to connect donors with frontline heroes, and is kicking off the project with a donation of 5 million KIND bars to frontline workers.
  • Nature’s Path is dedicated to keeping their communities fed by donating $2.5 million in organic Fairtrade products to healthcare workers, vulnerable seniors, and veterans. Nature’s Path products are also available to team members so they can share goods those who need extra support.
  • Conscious Step is donating an additional $1 for every pair of their Fairtrade certified socks sold to the WHO COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide essential supplies and training.
  • Brooklyn Roasting is supporting their neighbors at Navy Yard to prep masks for medical workers and keep them caffeinated with their Fairtrade certified coffee. They’re also leveraging their resources to provide coffee donations to hospitals throughout New York.
  • Tony’s Chocolonely is teaming up with Fairtrade in connecting with cocoa cooperatives in West Africa to support them during this time and is closely monitoring the closure of schools and difficulties of child labor monitoring when farm visits are not possible. Tony’s is also sharing their chocolate with those that need and deserve it the most, like healthcare works and food banks. Employees are equipped to act in their own communities through receiving Uber Eats vouchers, one for themselves and one for them to donate to a local hero.
  • West Pak Avocado is donating pallets of avocados weekly to Feeding America Riverside San Bernardino through June. As CEO Mario Pacheco shared, “West Pak is giving back to our communities to help feed those in need in a time of crisis. Now more than ever before, people need our help. We have the ability to provide and the desire to step up where we can be most effective. We’re honored to partner with FARSB to do our part, and we implore others to follow suit.”
  • The Nielsen-Massey Foundation, the charitable arm of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas is donating nearly $300,000 to national and local Illinois COVID-19 emergency relief funds that support the food service industry, small businesses and local workers affected by the pandemic.

Stay Informed

Our global network is adapting quickly to the changing realities of the world. For the most up-to-date information we recommend checking out the blogs and newsletters of Fairtrade Producer networks around the world.