What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

Fairtrade Labelling was created in the Netherlands in the late 1980s. The Max Havelaar Foundation launched the first Fairtrade consumer guarantee label in 1988 on coffee sourced from Mexico. Here in the UK, the Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992, with the first products to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark launched in 1994.

The FAIRTRADE Mark is a registered certification label for products sourced from producers in developing countries.

For a product to display the FAIRTRADE Mark it must meet international 

Fairtrade standards

when it comes to which countries are involved, Fairtrade works to benefit the poorest farmers and workers, the scope of Fairtrade encompasses almost all of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania and the poorest countries in Asia.

Products that are certified so far,

  • Bananas
  • Cocoa
  • Coffee
  • Dried Fruit
  • Fresh Fruit & Fresh Vegetables
  • Honey
  • JuicesNuts/Oil Seeds/Oil
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Tea
  • Wine
  • Beauty products

      Non-food products:

      • Cotton
      • Cut Flowers
      • Ornamental Plants
      • Sports Balls 

      Why become a Fairtrade Town?

      By choosing to support Fairtrade, your community can add it’s voice to demands for a trade system that puts people, not profit, at the heart of the transaction. Our voices become louder when we speak together. 

      Working towards Fairtrade Town status will bring together neighbours, groups, the local authority and businesses towards a common goal and a shared achievement. Becoming a Fairtrade Town is a lot of work, good fun and a great way to bring people together. It will also be an achievement everyone can celebrate and a powerful message about how your community wants trade to work.

      What is a Fairtrade Town?

       A Fairtrade Town is a town, city, village, county, zone, island or borough that has made a commitment to supporting Fairtrade and using products with the FAIRTRADE Mark. Any area can work towards Fairtrade status and everyone needs to be involved! 

      Community organisations, faith groups, businesses, schools and individuals all contribute to making their area a Fairtrade Town by pledging to do what they can to support Fairtrade and promote the FAIRTRADE Mark.


      In April 2000, Garstang in Lancashire declared itself ‘the Worlds first Fairtrade Town’. The campaign caught the imagination of local people, the interest of politicians, and made headlines across the North West. Most importantly, the campaign in Garstang inspired towns, cities, boroughs, villages, islands, counties and zones across the country to make a collective commitment to Fairtrade and work towards Fairtrade status for their community. many more areas campaigning towards status. The phenomenon has not stopped at the border. There are now Fairtrade Town campaigns in 19 countries around the world and all of these have been inspired by the example in the UK.