29 Feb 2016

Fairtrade Farmers and Workers Benefit from Record Premium Money

The extra money paid to farmers and workers who are certified as Fairtrade has risen above the €100 million mark for the first time, according to new figures released today. The Fairtrade Premium, as it is known, is invested by the producers themselves in a range of improvements including schools, health care and better equipment.

20010 impact report 2015 sireet
Esther is a member of Sireet OEP in Kenya and works as a tea plucker.
Image © Simon Rawles

‘Monitoring the Scope and Benefits of Fairtrade’ in its seventh edition – reveals there are now more than 1.65 million Fairtrade farmers, workers and producers who together generate more than €900 million in sales revenue. The report analyses and reports the results of its annual monitoring and evaluation activities, and shows among other things that the Fairtrade Premium topped the €100 million mark for the first time.

Despite continued growth on sales and volumes of key commodities, Fairtrade cautions that it is the impact of its work on the lives of small scale farmers and workers which really matters. “The report gives us a detailed global picture of where Fairtrade is today, but also shows clearly that in order to make a significant impact in the future, our work—and that of the many other actors fighting for trade justice—must be massively scaled up.” says Marike de Peña, Chair of Fairtrade International.

By the end of 2014 – the latest consolidated monitoring data available – there had been a nine percent year-on-year rise in the number of farmers and workers participating in Fairtrade – nearly two-thirds of them in Africa and the Middle East. Overall, there was a small rise – just one percent – in total global sales revenues to Fairtrade producers, although hired labour organizations such as banana plantations did better, with revenues up 18 percent. The data shows the vast majority – 80 percent – of Fairtrade farmers are small-scale operations, with the average farmer working just 1.4 hectares of land for their certified crop.

“The point of this report is to show us where we are performing well, and where we have challenges to overcome.” says Dr. Arisbe Mendoza, Head of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning at Fairtrade International. “Fairtrade is a constant work in progress, and we have to understand the challenges so we can reshape our approach and activities to address them.”

“Measuring our impact is essential if we are to scale up what is working and change what isn’t,” says de Peña. “The more we dig down into the data, and the more we learn about the human stories behind the statistics, the more we are challenged.”

‘Monitoring the Scope and Benefits of Fairtrade’ presents the scope and scale of Fairtrade, and provides a wealth of data about the Fairtrade producers. In addition, the report presents the results of recent research and evaluations of Fairtrade. This year these research results offer in-depth insight into Fairtrade’s work, and give a rich picture of the experiences of some of the farmers and workers in Fairtrade supply chains. To see the full report, click here.