Today, the Fairtrade Foundation has published its 30th Anniversary Report, celebrating decades of transformative impact in ensuring that fair prices are paid to producers and farmers in developing countries.

Working alongside farmers, workers, business and consumers, Fairtrade supports more than 2 million producers to achieve better prices for their produce. When you include family members and dependents, an estimated 10 million people benefit from the sales of Fairtrade items.

The report showcases examples of how the foundation’s existence has strengthened livelihoods and transformed lives across the world over the last 30 years, highlighting Fairtrade’s work to promote living incomes and wages to ensure that farmers and workers can cover essential living costs for themselves and their families.

However, climate change, global conflicts and the pandemic have all contributed to a much more insecure world than in the mid-1990’s, leaving heightened threats to farmer’s livelihoods whilst simultaneously exposing the fragility of our shared food system.

“Looking ahead, we need to recognise the need for greater collaboration and urgency in addressing today’s complex challenges.”

The report notes the weaknesses of the UK food system, which relies on importing almost half its food – approximately 16% of which comes from countries which are exposed to climate change and lack the capacity to adapt and respond. Environmental shocks in one part of the world can lead to empty shelves and food price inflation in our supermarkets, exacerbating the cost of living.

Ongoing climate change and unfair trade prices are intensified by extreme poverty and inequality in global agricultural communities. The vulnerability of farmers is also exacerbated by conflict in some parts of the world. There is an urgent need for immediate change, for the sake of producers’ livelihoods and for the availability and affordability of supermarket staples.

The report also issues an urgent call to action for advocates, campaigners, businesses, and whichever party or parties forms the next UK government, following the general election, to address extreme climate challenges and promote fair trade practices:

  • Businesses: To increase Fairtrade sourcing commitments, work together on innovative approaches to sourcing that will support sustainability.
  • The next UK Government: Following the general election, to deliver a trade strategy that helps to meet development and climate objectives and take forward laws that address deforestation and human rights violations in supply chains, while supporting the needs of farmers.
  • Supporters and campaigners:To hold businesses and governments accountable and encourage more people to choose Fairtrade products in their supermarkets.

Mike Gidney, Fairtrade Foundation CEO, said: “Fairtrade is driven by a vision of a world where trade benefits both people and the planet.

“At the heart of Fairtrade’s ethos is a commitment to addressing the root causes of poverty and exploitation. By ensuring producers receive a fair price for their goods, Fairtrade enables them to invest in their families, communities, and futures. This investment is particularly crucial in the face of climate change, which poses additional challenges to agricultural livelihoods.

“Equally important is Fairtrade’s emphasis on equitable governance and representation. Producers are co-owners of the Fairtrade movement, ensuring their voices are heard at every level of decision-making. This sharing of power fosters a more resilient and inclusive supply chain, where dialogue and collaboration drive meaningful change.

“Looking ahead, we need to recognise the need for greater collaboration and urgency in addressing today’s complex challenges. By continuing to prioritise fair prices and equitable governance, we can build a future where trade truly works for everyone.”

Fairtrade Foundation urges all stakeholders to join hands in shaping a more sustainable and equitable world now and for future generations.