Mitigating risks

We commit to aligning Fairtrade’s policies and processes with the UNGPs. Our Human Rights Commitment was approved by the Board of Fairtrade International in June, 2020, laying out Fairtrade’s HREDD process.

Our salient human rights issues:

Fairtrade mainly works with agricultural supply chains and the textile industry. Our leverage is greatest in the supply chains of coffee, cocoa, bananas and flowers. The salient human rights issues, which our efforts to mitigate, prevent, cease and remediate chiefly focus on, include:

• living wages and living incomes

• child labour, forced labour and gender-based violence

• discrimination based on gender, ethnic origin or other status

• freedom of association and unionization

• conditions of work

• environmental rights

Fairtrade and human rights and environmental due diligence

Legislation is needed – voluntary initiatives like certifications are not sufficient to solve human rights violations in global supply chains. But ambitious certifications like Fairtrade can offer invaluable support for HREDD work by companies, workers and farmers.

1. Fairtrade is strengthening its own HREDD process, building on its Human Rights Commitment of June 2020.

2. Fairtrade calls for mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence.

3. Fairtrade supports farmers’, workers’ and partners’ HREDD work.


The UNGPs call for collaboration and continuous development to mitigate human rights problems related to business. These are fundamental building blocks of the Fairtrade system.

• Price and Premium: Buyers pay the Fairtrade Premium and the Fairtrade Minimum Price, ensuring they co-invest in human rights and environmental work at farms and local communities.

• Standards: Designed to deepen the respect for human rights and the environment among producers and other supply chain actors. They are revised regularly, through inclusive processes, to raise their effectiveness.

• Auditing: Fairtrade’s independent auditing partner, FLOCERT, does regular on-the-ground visits to review farms’ social and environmental conditions.

• Training and Support: Fairtrade offers farmers and workers training and advice on their rights and agricultural practices. Staff in Africa, Asia and Latin America can also assist farmers with corrective action plans.

• Advocacy: The Fairtrade network advocates at the global, regional and national levels for fairer laws and business practices, putting pressure on states and businesses to fulfill their human rights and environmental duties.

• Global Education: Staff in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific aim to increase consumer awareness and encourage more responsible choices.

These activities are funded through contributions from companies that use Fairtrade standards and auditing as well as public funding for specific development projects.