What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade Coffee & Tea Information

The FAIRTRADE Mark is an independent consumer label which appears on products as an independent assurance that producers in the developing world are getting a better deal.

For any product to display the Fairtrade mark it must adhere to agreed and published international Fairtrade standards. A1 Coffee is committed to the Fairtrade program and endeavours to offer suitable products across its range, allowing customers to make their own choice. We believe it is important for us to support such programs and be a responsible supplier, and this shows in the range of products we offer to our customers.

So what exactly is Fairtrade? Put simply, it’s about farmers being paid fair prices to allow them to invest in their businesses and communities. It’s about decent working conditions, local sustainability and agreed minimum safety standards. Coffee was one of the first products to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark and it has been growing ever since. Fairtrade coffee is now available from origins around the world. and the supply chain is fully transparent. The origin of Fairtrade coffee can be traced all the way back to the co-operative it comes from. However, the Fairtrade mark is about so much more than simply direct trade relationships.

For example, the vast majority of coffee is actually grown by independent small-scale farmers, working on their own land and selling their produce via a local co-operative. For such farmers, getting a fair price for the beans is by far the most important aspect of the Fairtrade program, for obvious financial reasons. However, tea tends to be grown on large estates. For those working in this sector, fair wages and acceptable working conditions are often the most important aspect of the program. This also includes minimum health and safety standards, and strictly no forced or child labour.

So why do some suppliers offer products claiming to be Fairtrade without carrying the official mark? This is simply because some companies make their own Fairtrade claims without official independent scrutiny. Without the mark, such claims offer no guarantee that they give producers a fair deal.