Fairtrade released its annual report recently which exhibited their new initiatives on climate, textiles, and gender among many others. The reports also mirrors the organization’s impression that the greatest way of driving economic improvement is way higher than the sales of Fairtrade.
According to the report, which is titled “Driving Sales, Deepening Impact”, depicted Fairtrade’s commitment to bring forth more impact and support for farmers and workers, to assist them in obtaining a fair share in the global supply chains. Last year there were 1.6 million Fairtrade farmers and workers across 75 nations, profiting from an estimated €138 million in Fairtrade Premium, which is the extra sum of money paid on top of the selling price that farmers and workers invest in business or community projects of their own choice. However, this was not a positive for all, due to recent European Union sugar policy changes sugar farmers experienced a downside last year.
Fairtrade realized an increase in sales of Coffee, Bananas, and Cocoa by 18 per cent, 12 per cent, and 27 per cent, respectively. Marike de Peña, Board Chair of Fairtrade International, mentioned that Farmers and workers must also consider scaling up their sales at Fairtrade if they looking at escaping poverty. He said, “Increased Fairtrade sales are the biggest driver of economic improvement, enabling producer organizations to secure the revenues they need for workers to be paid a living wage and for farmers and artisanal miners to earn a living income.”
The report shows the awareness of Fairtrade on challenges facing farmers and workers, and thus the emphasis of Fairtrade sales not the answer to handling existing inequalities and ending exploitation. Fairtrade is acting in support of farmers and workers by strengthening their work on Climate Change, Textile and cotton supply chains, gender equality and child protection. Children and young people are at the heart of Fairtrade’s Youth Inclusive Community Based Monitoring and Remediation (YICBMR) system on child labor, which is being rolled out in eleven countries.
“Fairtrade was born from a grassroots movement for trade justice,” said Marike de Peña. “We haven’t forgotten our roots, and we continue to campaign against policies that leave the most vulnerable farmers and workers unprotected. Our innovative work on textiles and climate change, for example, reflects our focus on advocacy and partnering with other organizations.”