Skip to content
New Customer? Save 5% Now Use Code: FIRSTORDER
Save 5% Now Use Code: FIRSTORDER

Fair Trade

Many of the products available at Wholefoody are marked as Fair Trade products, and though the label might sound self-explanatory, Fair Trade can actually mean many things.

The Fair Trade mark is a sign of where the product came from, how it was grown and how the farmers who grew the ingredients were treated. It is a symbol of sustainable, ethical farming, and for those following an organic lifestyle, it’s an important label to understand.

What is Fair Trade?

The Fair Trade Foundation is both a trading strategy and an independent non-profit organisation in the UK. The Fair Trade mark on a food or product is a sign that says the product meets internationally agreed upon Fair Trade standards.

The purpose of the Fair Trade strategy is to alleviate poverty in countries that many trades take advantage of, by promoting the sustainable development of those countries. This pretty much means that the Fair Trade Foundation aims to create opportunities for marginalised and economically disadvantaged producers who are often mistreated by the conventional trade system.

Members of the Fair Trade movement champion for higher payment prices on products from exporters and manufacturers, in addition to improving social and environmental standards. The core value of the Fair Trade Foundation is transparency in international trade, with the aim of total fairness amongst producers, to combat poverty across the globe.

By advocating for the rights of producers and workers who are marginalised or mistreated by the conventional trade system, we at Wholefoody believe we can achieve this. As such, we’re passionate about supporting Fair Trade initiatives and selling products that meet international Fair Trade standards.

What is Fair Trade Certification?

Though the overall goal is for Fair Trade standards to apply to all, more often the Fair Trade certification is given to particular crops, such as coffee, fruit, cotton and of course, chocolate. Each of these are crops that can be monitored from the farm, throughout manufacturing and at all steps of production; this makes them simpler to certify.

For more complicated manufacturing processes, certification isn’t always possible; though that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t be fairly traded, responsibly. Instead, producers of these products may join membership groups in place of certification, for accountability purposes.

What’s important to remember is that there is no one overall certified for Fair Trade standards. There are membership groups, cooperatives, and many products that are traded fairly will not be labelled with the Fair Trade logo you recognise.

Products without the logo but fairly traded often follow the principles of the Fair Trade Charter; they come through a supply chain that follows the principles at all stages of manufacturing, without having secured accreditation as Fair Trade.

At Wholefoody, we strive to ensure we correctly label our products, so that you can understand where your purchases have come from. We may refer these sorts of products to as fairly traded, rather than carrying the logo.

It’s important to understand that just because a product doesn’t carry the Fair Trade certification, that doesn’t mean it fails to adhere to the Charter. In fact, many of the producers of these products have been trading fairly since before the Fair Trade Certification was even created.

There are various reasons why a product may not be officially labelled, but sometimes it’s as simple as standards for individual products not having been set yet. It takes time and a careful process to establish fair trading standards for each product, and without official standards to measure a product against, there can be no official Fair Trade logo.

Fair for Life and For Life

In addition to the Fair Trade logo and fairly traded products, you may also see other certifications, like Fair for Life (FFL) and For Life (FL). Both of these certifications are given to a product that respects human rights, ecosystems, fair working conditions and products and processes that promote sustainable agriculture.

The difference between FFL and FL is simple: the former is a certification program for products that are fairly traded and come from responsible supply chains. The latter certification is for companies, and when awarded, it signifies that the entire supply chain has met FL standards.

Both FFL and FL use a third-party certifier, the Institute for Marketecology (IMO).

World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)

The Fair Trade supply chain is represented by a global network known as the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO). Companies who gain membership of the WFTO are marked as credible Fair Trade businesses and are given the opportunity to connect with similarly minded people around the world. Through these connections, they give companies tools and training that help to increase their market access.

Currently, the WFTO operates in 75 countries, across five regions of the globe. This includes both regional and global boards, and all member organisations (and retailers) must adhere to the 10 Principles of Fair Trade:

  • Create Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Fair Trading Practices
  • Payment of a Fair Price
  • Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour
  • Commitment to Non-Discrimination, Gender Equality, Freedom of Association
  • Ensuring Good Working Conditions
  • Providing Capacity Building
  • Promoting Fair Trade
  • Respect for the Environment

Equal Exchange

Founded in 1986, Equal Exchange works with small farmer organisations in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the US. The goal of Equal Exchange is to bring a Fair Trade model to US food stores, with the overall aim of demonstrating the viability of the Fair Trade model to other producers in the industry.

Fair Trade at Wholefoody

Though not yet a universally adhered to standard, at Wholefoody, we support the Fair Trade Charter and Fair Trade standards wholeheartedly.

That means that as far as is possible, we like to know where our products come from, so that we can assure you that our Fair Trade food is entirely ethical and sustainably sourced. In addition to being delicious, of course!

That way, you can buy Fair Trade products online, safe in the knowledge that from the farmer to the final product, all were fairly treated and paid for their hard work. Enjoy your favourite foods without guilt, with Wholefoody.