Fairtrade global sales overview

While sales figures hardly tell the whole story of Fairtrade, they are one important indicator. It’s pretty simple: the more that farmers and workers can sell their products on Fairtrade terms, the more they can benefit from Fairtrade’s collaborative approach to trade.

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Wilson, a banana producer with El Guabo cooperative in Ecuador, says, "Fairtrade gives me and my family security and stability for the future".
Image © Katrin Dorfschmid

When consumers purchase Fairtrade products, they not only express their solidarity with farmers and workers who are marginalized by global trade, but they also send a signal to businesses and governments that they want trade to be different, better.

The Fairtrade Standards combine a range of economic, environmental and social criteria that are independently audited as part of Fairtrade certification. These criteria reflect Fairtrade’s goal to promote sustainable production and decent livelihoods. When people buy Fairtrade, they help to ensure these factors are not casually written off as ‘externalities’ or treated as costs that farmers and workers should bear alone.

The numbers are clear: consumers care about fairness and sustainability, and are buying more Fairtrade every single year.

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A child at a school constructed with Fairtrade Premium funds.
Image © Chris Terry

Investing in childrens' futures

The extra Premium funds that Fairtrade generates for farmers and workers can have lasting impacts.

The Sukambizi Association, a Fairtrade tea farmer group in Malawi, decided to invest some of its Fairtrade Premium in essential services for children – including 12 school blocks in different villages.

Before these schools were built, many parents were reluctant to send their youngest kids on long walks to distant schools, leading to high absenteeism.

'Without Fairtrade’s help, many children wouldn’t be motivated to attend school, something which would affect their future lives considerably,' says Eddie, headmaster at one of the new schools.

The Sukambizi Association also used Fairtrade Premium money to support the construction of a maternity wing (saving expectant mothers from a 40km journey), the purchase of an ambulance, and the extension of clean-water systems to over 4000 families.