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Fairtrade for Business

What is fairtrade?

Fairtrade is a simple way each one of us can make a difference through our everyday choices. It is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Fairtrade aims to enable the poorest farmers and workers to improve their position and have more control over their lives.

The fairtrade mark means that farmers receive an agreed stable and sustainable price for their produce, and an extra payment (premium) to invest in their community. As part of the agreement, farmer groups must be democratically organised and meet environmental standards. These include careful use of chemicals, looking after soil and water sources and respecting nature.

Did you know? 

  • Fairtrade’s social premium helps communities to construct and repair schools, bridges, road repairs, give out school  packs, bursaries and environmental campaigns
  • Not only does Fairtrade support communities, but it also allows women in farming to receive leadership training, literacy exams and gender equality training as women can struggle with equality issues and obtaining senior roles within their cooperatives
  • Fairtrade premium also allows for Women and men to be screened for cancer and other health risks. Thanks to Fairtrade thousands of people have survived cancer due to early screening and diagnosis.
  • Fairtrade has a zero child labour tolerance

What your business can do

Fairtrade is good for your business; it tells people you are a fair and ethical business and is an excellent addition to your CSR commitments. Using fairtrade products also makes staff feel good, knowing that they are making a difference every time they have a cup of fairtrade coffee.

It is easy to make the switch to using fairtrade products in your business. Some large businesses that have already made the switch include KPMG, Virgin Trains, BT and Nationwide Building Society.

You might find that your current supplier already offers fairtrade options in which case you can ask to switch. Alternatively you can find a list of shops and catering suppliers in the South West which supply products carrying the FAIRTRADE mark in the South West fairtrade purchasing guide. This is available online at

South West Fairtrade business awards

The aim of the awards is to increase sales of, and support for, Fairtrade amongst businesses in the region, by promoting those businesses that support Fairtrade and encouraging others to do more.

Categories included best fairtrade office, best fairtrade retailer, best fairtrade food outlet, best fairtrade accommodation, best fairtrade advocate, best fairtrade suppliers and the overall best fairtrade business. Businesses can achieve a bronze, silver or gold award in their category.

The Business Awards will be taking place again in May 2020. For more information about how your business can enter, please email:

Fairtrade locally in South Gloucestershire

South Gloucestershire became a fairtrade county in 2009, and this status was successfully renewed in 2018 and will need to be renewed again in 2020. The fairtrade steering group exists to encourage and support fairtrade activity in the county, please do not hesitate to contact to get find out more or become involved in Fairtrade in South Gloucestershire.

South Gloucestershire Fairtrade is included in the South Gloucestershire Food Plan for 2018-21.

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