Fairtrade Foundation UK
What is the Fairtrade Foundation ?
The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent, non profit organisation established 1992. The Foundation is a member of the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) and licenses the use of International Fairtrade Certification Mark on products within the UK.
What is Fairtrade?
According to the Fairtrade Foundation, the concept of fair-trade is about “better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world”.
Fairtrade Foundation Mission
The mission of the Fairtrade Foundation is “to work with businesses, community groups and individuals to improve the trading position of producer organisations in the South and to deliver sustainable livelihoods for farmers, workers, and their communities”. The Fairtrade Foundation attempts to this by being an ambitious development organisation committed to addressing problems of poverty and inequality through trade. The Fairtrade Foundation aims to be the UK’s leading authority on Fairtrade and considers certification and labelling as tools for its development goals. It also wants bring producers and consumers together to drive change as a citizens’ movement.
Fairtrade Foundation Structure
The Fairtrade Foundation operates in five distinct teams. They are:
- Certification: The Fairtrade Foundation licenses the use of the Fairtrade Mark on products to indicate that it complies with international Fairtrade standards laid down by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation International. The Certification department is responsible for setting up licensing agreement with each company and specifying the products that may carry the mark. It also has to approve each use of the mark and text referring to Fair trade as well as auditing each licensee’s fair-trade activities.
- Commercial relations: This department is responsible for working with organisations to grow their sales of Fairtrade certified products in existing categoies that cover both food and non-food items. This department also attempts to assist in increasing product visibility and introduction of new product areas.
- Communications: This department is responsible for creating public awareness and consumer demand for Fairtrade certified products. It conducts an annual Fairtrade Fortnight, and promotional events towns, schools and universities. It undertakes public relations through various media to promote this cause.
- Policy and producer relations: This department is responsible for the development of standards, communication with producers and supporting producer organisations. It aids in the sourcing of products and undertakes research to improve the functioning of the Fairtrade Foundation.
- Finance and IT: This department provides important support to the other departments. It is also responsible for governance of the foundation through annual general meetings and meetings of the board of trustees.
Fairtrade Products in the UK
Fairtrade certified products available in the UK cover tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, honey, cotton, flowers and plants, dried fruit, nuts and sports equipment. These products are available for retail, wholesale as well as catering units. For details, please see http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/products/default.aspx