Fairtrade celebrates 30 years in the UK


On 25 March, Fairtrade celebrated 30 years of the Fairtrade symbol in the United Kingdom. The global organisation will mark the moment with a series of events and campaigns throughout 2024.

“We are incredibly excited to be able to mark this very important milestone,” says Fairtrade Foundation CEO Mike Gidney.

“Fairtrade is all about building a fairer future for people in low-income countries who grow and make the things we rely on every day: our food, our clothes.”

In 2024, the Fairtrade Foundation will focus on campaigning for farmers to earn a fairer price, receive a greater share of power in supply chains, and access the financial resources they urgently need to tackle the climate crisis.

Fairtrade is also committed to ensuring farmers are protected from rising costs as part of a new deforestation legislation from the UK and the European Union.

The Foundation has announced it will be changing its usual Fairtrade Fortnight date, moving the two-week campaign from February to 9-22 September. Last year’s Fairtrade Fortnight initiative had more than 700 grassroots-led events take place around the United Kingdom.

“Thirty years on, we estimate that 10 million people, including farmers, workers, and their families across Africa, Latin America, and Asia benefit from sales of their products on Fairtrade terms,” says Gidney.

“That’s an amazing achievement, and is thanks to the increasing dedication of companies in changing the way they trade, driven by huge, unstinting support from the British public.”

The first Fairtrade-certified product to appear on UK supermarket shelves in 1994 was the Green & Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate, which was soon followed by Cafédirect and Percol coffees.

There are now more than 6,000 Fairtrade products in the UK alone.

“Of course, there is still so much to be done,” Gidney says. “Our world is perhaps more dangerous now than it was 30 years ago: the climate crisis, global insecurity, rising costs, and long-term low pricing continue to threaten farmers’ futures.  That matters to us all.”

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