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Food and Drink

What is Fairtrade? The Ultimate Guide

Fairtrade helps to establish fair working conditions and pay for the people who make and supply the things we love. From chocolate, to bananas, to coffee. Discover the requirements for Fairtrade.
fairtrade helps workers grow food in safe environments

by Ellen Hill

Fairtrade is a way to help farmers and producers of our favourite items in developing countries achieve fair treatment and proper compensation. With the world turning to a more conscious mindset when it comes to shopping, there’s no surprise the movement has picked up traction. Our ultimate guide walks you through everything Fairtrade. 

Table of Contents:

What is Fairtrade?

You may be asking “What is Fairtrade?” - and it is a straightforward concept. Ultimately, it is trade that has been established to have fair treatment along the way. Fairtrade works between companies in developed countries and producers in developing countries, to ensure fair prices are paid to the producers.

There are sets of rules and standards to be met in order to qualify. The Foundation seeks to ensure:

  • Fair workers’ rights
  • Safer working conditions
  • Fairer pay

The aim is to create change within farms and consumers. From investing in climate-friendly farming techniques to developing women in leadership. For consumers, it means high quality, ethically produced products. 

What Does Fairtrade Do?

The Foundation works with partners across the globe. These include the farmers themselves, businesses, and governments to improve how fair the processes are. The aim is to improve how secure earnings are and how sustainable practices can be. The foundation sets standards for the following areas:

  • Social
  • Economic
  • Environmental 

fairtrade helps to make environmentally friendly supply chain

For farmers and workers the standards include protection of workers’ rights and the environment. This can include the use of eco-friendly materials, and other environmentally friendly practices such as the Better Cotton Initiative. For companies they include the payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price safety net and an additional Fairtrade Premium.

FLOCERT is an independent organisation. It checks that these standards have been met by the farmers, workers and companies that are part of the product supply chains. 

Fairtrade Products

When it comes to choosing better products to integrate into your life, Fairtrade is a good place to start. Whether you’re looking for eco-friendly bathroom essentials or vegan skincare brands. Finding products made with these fair practices can give you peace of mind that you’re making a difference. 


Fairtrade coffee brings about better knowledge for workers about protecting the local environment. As well as the chance to plant other crops and buy livestock to put more food on the table. Whether you’re looking for ethical coffee subscription services or to simply try out the different types of coffee, look for the Fairtrade logo.  By choosing Fairtrade certified coffee, you’ll have peace of mind that the beans are grown using their rigorous standards.

faitrade coffee can help workers get paid for the beans they grow

For Fairtrade coffee to wake you up with a kick, try Kicking Horse, with many roasts to choose from, and a variety of flavour profiles made from organic beans. Or tingle your taste buds with Rockin’ Cat. Their coffees are also organic and small-batch roasted to guarantee excellence. They’re also certified B-Corp - meaning they’re a for-profit company dedicated to doing good. 


Fairtrade work with chocolate products to ensure the farmers of the cocoa have been paid a fair price for their work and supply. In recent years, the price of cocoa has dropped despite demand. Young people are increasingly reluctant to choose cocoa farming as a career, due to the limited pay and rewards. Especially when the work itself is very labour intensive.

fairtrade chocolate can help to establish a fair price for cocoa

Tony’s Chocolonely create delicious chocolate bars with the mission of ending modern slavery in the chocolate trade. They aim to raise awareness of modern slavery in the cocoa industry, and prove that chocolate can be delicioius, even if made differently. You can find their Fairtrade chocolate in supermarkets and online. 


Another product which needs the support of Fairtrade is bananas. One in three bananas bought in the UK is Fair by these standards, which means a great deal of difference is being made to farmers, workers and their families. Buying Fairtrade bananas means that producers get a guaranteed minimum price for the work, an extra premium to invest, as well as improved workplace conditions and protection. 

you can find fairtrade bananas in the supermarket

You can find Fairtrade bananas in most supermarkets, including 100% of the bananas sold in Waitrose, Coop, and Sainsburys

Fair for the Future 

Shopping consciously doesn’t have to be difficult. The One Edit is on-hand to bring you the best sustainable fashion brands to choose from, to your bamboo toilet paper needs. Make the change and see the difference you can make by choosing to go greener.