What is fair trade?

Fair trade is a way of shopping and doing business differently.

It is about creating a system of trade where all people involved are able to enjoy the benefits of trade.

Fair trade creates sustainability

Collectively, we can meet people’s needs today without compromising the needs of people in the future. Whether it is providing support and training so farmers can face climate change with resilience, challenging businesses to meet higher ethical standards or increasing demand for fair trade goods in the US – we are shaping trade in a way that centers people and the planet.

We know that our model isn’t a silver bullet and are proud to collaborate with others to create a better world together.

Fairtrade in Action

  • 'Pimienta gorda' (allspice) drying across a large area at Fairtrade certified cooperative COAGRICSAL

    Unique Pricing Model

    Our unique pricing model includes the Fairtrade Minimum Price and the Fairtrade Premium. The Minimum Price is the amount it costs to farm sustainably, it serves as a safety net when the market price drops. The Fairtrade Premium is money that farmers receive on top of the price paid. They democratically decide how to invest in their business and their community.

  • Rigorous Standards

    Fairtrade Standards are what producer organizations and businesses agree to follow when they become certified. They establish a set of economic, social and environmental practices that everyone in the supply chain enacts. FLOCERT, a third-party auditing group, regularly assess whether our Standards are being kept.

  • Ten men sit in a room to discuss changes in their Fairtrade cotton cooperative.

    Local Experts

    Our Producer Networks in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East and Asia and Asia Pacific are made up of local and regional agricultural and development experts that advise on soil quality, promoting gender equality, addressing human rights violations and so much more!

  • Global Network of Support

    For fair trade to work, consumer demand for ethically sourced goods is key. That’s where Fairtrade America comes in. In the US and throughout our network of over 30 national organizations (located in countries such as the UK, Australia, South Korea, Germany and more), we educate shoppers on fair trade and support businesses on their path to certification.

We were taught to serve, to be workers. Now with Fairtrade, we are entrepreneurs.

Marcial Quintero, Banana Producer

Fair trade needs brands to step up

We are the US branch of a global movement that inspires and supports brands to source ethically and sustainably produced commodities like cocoa, coffee and bananas. We are proud of this dedicated group that has chosen to invest in the people and places behind their products.

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Ben & Jerry's

Fairtrade is about making sure people get their fair share of the pie. The whole concept of Fairtrade goes to the heart of our values and the sense of right and wrong. Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting somebody else.

Read Ben & Jerry's Fairtrade story

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Starbucks

Starbucks is one of the largest purchasers of Fairtrade Certified coffee in the world, bringing Fairtrade to coffee lovers across the globe.

Learn more about Starbucks & Fairtrade

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Endangered Species Chocolate

"Endangered Species Chocolate is committed to crafting delicious premium chocolate while supporting species, habitat, and humanity." - Curt Vander Meer, CEO of Endangered Species Chocolate

Read more about Endangered Species Chocolate

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Divine Chocolate

I started at Divine 20 years ago so of course there are many things that I know now that it would have been useful to know then. Knowing that Fairtrade would become so mainstream would have been very reassuring - as we were doing something very bold and taking a leap of faith. - Sophi Tranchell, CEO of Divine Chocolate

Read more avout Divine Chocolate

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Conscious Step

Conscious Step believes they have a responsibility to create clothing that makes you feel good about what you wear. The source 100% Fairtrade and Organic cotton. These values have aligned them with a growing base of conscious consumers, igniting global expansion.

Learn about Conscious Step

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Get Involved

Make fair trade part of your everyday life. Find out how you can get involved in the movement to make trade equitable and sustainable.

Join the movement

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