Fair Trade

What Is Fair Trade Food?

Fair trade food is food that has been traded fairly. This means that the grower, farmer or producer has not been exploited in any way. They’re paid a fair price for their produce and have safe working conditions.

Fair labour conditions are also enforced, ensuring no child or forced labour takes place.

Businesses that employ fair trade principles have a positive impact on sustainability and empowering the future of the producer and their families.

Fair trade is based on a relationship where both sides benefit, not just those with the most power.

Commonly (and not so commonly) traded fair trade foods include:

Fair trade food - woman picking tea leaves

(for chocolate)








kola nut




Why Fairly Traded Is Important

There are many reasons why fair trade initiatives are important. Crucially, they help ensure that the big guys don’t exploit the little guys. Food brands in developed countries should always pay workers in developing countries a fair price for their ingredients.

Fair trade helps to secure the livelihoods of farmers and ensures that natural resources aren’t exploited. Both help to protect smallholdings and businesses so that they’re available for generations to come.

Sustainability goes hand in hand with fair trade. Fair trade encourages better farming methods, increased crop yields and continual improvement.

Switching to Fair Trade at Home

Once you know what to look out for, buying fair trade products becomes a lot easier. There isn’t one logo that represents fair trade, although the most common belongs to the Fairtrade Foundation.

Some supermarkets and brands have their own fair trade programmes. Reading the packaging will help, if a product is fairly traded, the packaging will tell you, loud and proud!

Familiarise yourself with the companies that use fairly traded ingredients too. Coffee, chocolate and bananas are a good place to start. Sainsbury’s is the largest retailer of fairly traded goods in the UK, but brands such as Costa also take part.

Fair trade food is generally more expensive – and rightly so. Cheap food may be kind to our wallets, but someone or something has usually been exploited somewhere along the line.