5-minute guide to buying Fairtrade

When is Fairtrade Fortnight

This year it runs from February 29 to March 13 and we’re being asked to stand up for Fairtrade farmers by taking time to sit down and savour the first meal of the day and appreciate the role they play in bringing it to us.

Sit down to a Fairtrade breakfast to support farmers

The two-week campaign was inspired by civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King who 50 years ago, said: Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you've depended on more than half the world."

You can support the Sit Down for Breakfast and Stand Up for Farmers campaign by sharing your Fairtrade breakfast at #YouEatTheyEat or to find out how you can get more involved click here.

What does Fairtrade mean?

Fairtrade means fair prices for farmers in the developing world. When farmers sell on Fairtrade terms, they get a sustainable price and a premium to invest in their communities - a fair return for all their hard work.

Why does it matter?

By supporting Fairtrade, you ensure farmers earn a fair price, can invest in their communities and businesses and are empowered to build a better future. They get a better deal and you can reduce poverty through their everyday shopping.

You ensure farmers earn a fair price

For example, around 80 per cent of the world’s coffee is produced by 25 million smallholders who live on less than $2 a day (£1.40). Millions of farmers and workers who produce our first meal of the day miss out on breakfast themselves. If farmers are guaranteed to receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their coffee, they have a safety net when times are tough.

Does it cost more?

Buying Fairtrade doesn’t have to cost more – there’s such a wide range of Fairtrade products from gold to breakfast bananas that there's something for everyone. Most major retailers stock Fairtrade produce, for example the Co-op, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s. A full list of Fairtrade products stocked at Sainsbury's can be found here.

What should I look out for?

The Fairtrade logo. Products with a FAIRTRADE Mark have met internationally agreed standards Fairtrade Standards designed to address the imbalance of power of conventional trade.


Over 5,000 products have been licensed to carry the Fairtrade mark including:

  • coffee
  • tea
  • chocolate
  • bananas
  • smoothies
  • biscuits
  • cakes & snacks
  • honey
  • rice
  • nuts & nut oil
  • wines, beers & rum
  • muesli & cereal bars
  • ice-cream
  • sports balls
  • sugar body-scrub
  • cotton products including clothing, homeware & cloth toys
  • olive oil
  • gold, silver and platinum.

Over the past 20 years, the Fairtrade mark has become the best known ethical label in the UK.

Picture credit: Chris Terry 2016

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