Strength Behind the Sales: Partnership with Producers Lays Foundation for Fairtrade’s Global Success


By Reykia Fick

Media Relations Manager

Bonn, Germany; 4 September 2012. Fairtrade International’s latest Annual Report, “For Producers, With Producers” reveals the foundations behind Fairtrade’s consistent strong sales growth (announced earlier this year).

Fairtrade farmers and workers share ownership of the Fairtrade system, are active participants in standard-setting and are driving change in their communities through Fairtrade’s innovative programmes.

“Fairtrade is a change agent. It promotes a new way of being; producers farm more responsibly, companies do business more responsibly and consumers purchase more responsibly,” says Raul del Águila, one of four producer representatives on of the Board of Fairtrade International. “And it works because it’s about involving people throughout the whole system in deciding and making this change.”

Farmers and workers are reaping the benefits from this approach: the number of producer organizations grew by 10% last year to 991, representing over 1.2 million farmers and workers. Fairtrade Premium payments also grew to reach 65 million euros.

Fairtrade International’s Highlights from 2011-2012 include:

Producer Leadership in Decision-Making
Historic decision to increase producer representation in the General Assembly to 50%, an equal voice in Fairtrade’s highest decision-making body
Vice Chair position now held by a producer network representative, Marike de Peña
North African producers launch new regional Fairtrade network, joining Fairtrade Africa governance
Fairtrade producers addressed Members of the European Union Parliament and the press at COP17 climate change talks in Durban

Programmes that Meet Producers’ Needs
47% of our budget spent on direct services for producers, up from 42% in 2010
52 liaison officers offer support and training on the ground
Bold new workers’ rights strategy is approved by the Board
Piloting begins on new child labour training programme for producers.

Partnerships Increase Impact for Farmers and Workers
The Fairtrade Access Fund announced as the first investment fund to offer small farmer organizations longer-term loans, a collaboration with Incofin IM and Grameen Foundation
Major new commitments from Mars and Puma, among others
First ever Fairtrade producer conference in Central Asia with UNDP. Uzbek dried fruit producers now expecting over US$ 150,000 in Fairtrade Premium.

Strong Global Standards
Fairtrade Standards available for 300 raw products, 3x more than in 2006
78% of Fairtrade Minimum Prices & Premiums revised in the last 3 years
1400 producers asked for their input on standards in 2011 – almost half responded.

A Market Leader
The FAIRTRADE Mark is the world’s most recognized ethical label, according to a global survey
Fairtrade products are available to consumers in over 120 countries
Shoppers spent €4.9bn on Fairtrade products in 2011, 12% more than 2010
55% of bananas bought in Switzerland are Fairtrade certified

Download the full 2011-12 Fairtrade International Annual Report here

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