28 Oct 2021

The future is fair: A look at our annual report

FI Annual Report 2020-2021 cover 870

“A fairer future is here. Will you be part of it?”

This is the question posed by Fairtrade’s Global CEO Nyagoy Nyong’o and Fairtrade International’s Executive Director Melissa Duncan at the start of our annual report this year. These two women, with deep roots in Fairtrade, stepped into their roles in early 2021 and are leading the Fairtrade system through a time of change and opportunity.

The annual report reflects on the challenges of the past year, and highlights the resilience of more than 1.9 million farmers and workers in the Fairtrade system. We share programme and sales data, progress on key priorities, and the framework of our new global strategy.

Key figures at a glance

Here are some of the takeaways.

  • Fairtrade raised more than €15 million for COVID-19 relief and resilience funding for producers. Producers also supported their communities using their own Fairtrade Premium funds during the challenging year. We have a new documentary series that spotlights the experiences, fears and aspirations of three Fairtrade farmers.
  • The system is continuing to mature, gain new commercial partners, and blaze trails in sustainability and social justice. This includes living incomes for farmers and living wages for workers, climate change resilience, opportunities for women and young people, human rights and environmental due diligence, and more. The three regional Fairtrade producer networks provide training and targeted programmes that support strong, well governed producer organizations that benefit farmers and workers and are the start of sustainable supply chains.

“This base wage means for us more access to health, education, self-improvement, happiness and motivation to continue working. With perseverance, hard work and a living wage, anything can be achieved.”

--María Jorge, banana worker and a leader in the Fairtrade Worker Network in the Dominican Republic

  • Fairtrade continues to be the most recognized and trusted ethical label, according to GlobeScan research. Eighty-seven percent of shoppers who recognize the Fairtrade mark trust it.
  • We continue to measure and research our impact and communicate it transparently. We published seven studies and evaluations in the past year, plus monitoring data and policy papers.
  • COVID-19 posed existential challenges for producers, as for the whole world. Many farmers experienced transportation disruptions to get their goods to market, and some also faced falling demand due to lockdowns. Producer sales dipped for bananas, cocoa and sugar, while remaining mostly stable or growing for coffee, cotton, flowers and tea. And commercial interest in many consuming markets gives us cause for optimism.

“Not only did Fairtrade provide us with technical expertise for sustainable cocoa production and business management, they also provided all the necessary support to our union to secure our market in difficult times [last year]. Today we are happy that our cocoa beans have been sold and farmers can earn a decent income.”

-- Kwasi Kublenu, cocoa farmer and president of Fanteakwa Union Cooperative

  • We are expanding our partnerships with companies and institutional donors looking to deepen sustainability efforts, which our new strategy highlights.
  • Advocates from around the world – including farmers and workers – are raising their voices to make fairness and justice the norm. For instance, Fairtrade farmers, including youth ambassadors, are participating in events related to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow starting next week. A letter from Fairtrade farmers – and open to citizen signatories – calls for more urgent action and for climate financing to reach family farmers and workers.

“I have been trained as a leader in the face of climate change, it has been a very important issue for us. We have also learned about the importance of leadership in our networks, in our organizations and as young people we have committed to undertaking new challenges.”

--Irene Huarachi Arcayne, member of the National Association of Quinoa Producers (ANAPQUI) in Bolivia and youth representative

We are proud of how all Fairtarde producers, brands, employees, consumers, activists, and organizations keep pushing for a world where trading fairly is the norm. And we acknowledge there is still much work to be done. Want to learn more? Check out our annual report, and our global strategy. And if you would like to take it even further, here is how you can get involved.