Forecast predicts a need for brands to make good on their sustainability and human rights claims, and make it easier for shoppers to find ethically-sourced goods
Submitted by Fairtrade America
WASHINGTON December 20, 2021 /CSRwire/ - Fairtrade America - an independent, third-party certification that partners with farmers and workers to negotiate better prices, decent working conditions, and a fairer deal overall - today released five key trends that will impact how brands source ingredients and work to have a larger impact on people and the planet in 2022.
Shoppers are increasingly looking for ethically-sourced products. More than half of respondents to Fairtrade’s biennial Fairtrade Consumer Insights report, conducted by GlobeScan, confirmed they have changed their purchasing choices within the past year to make a difference on economic, social, environmental or political issues, indicating people increasingly see their everyday shopping as an important way to make a difference.
Fairtrade America predicts this consumer attitude will play out in the following ways in 2022:
Climate studies predict that by 2050 coffee, tea, cocoa and cotton will be so severely affected that production in some areas will even disappear. While the world’s wealthiest 10% are responsible for 50% of global emissions, it is those disadvantaged by unfair trade systems who are enduring the extreme hardship caused by climate change. At this year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow, more than 30,000 consumers the world over voiced their demand for businesses and governments to act on behalf of farmers facing the challenges of an unstable climate by signing Fairtrade’s “Be Fair With Your Climate Promise” petition.
Companies certified by Fairtrade International follow Standards set in accordance with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice on Standard Setting, and about 30% of those Standards aim to minimize farmers’ impact on the planet, while still meeting them where they are both in terms of their geographical realities and their business growth. Fairtrade Standards ban the use of dangerous pesticides and GMO seeds, protect natural resources and encourage eco-friendly cultivation. Fairtrade also incentivizes organic farming through an increased Premium and Minimum Price.
Large companies are re-examining their supply chains to ensure they are meeting these consumer demands. Earlier this year, Unilever announced a commitment to ensuring that workers who directly supply its goods and services across 190 countries will receive a living wage by 2030.
Many farmers and workers around the world live on less than $2 per day. Fairtrade breaks down the systems that trap farmers in cycles of poverty by addressing them at their core – price. The Fairtrade Minimum Price acts as a safety net for farmers when prices fall below a sustainable level. Evaluated every five years, the Minimum Price covers the costs of sustainable production and is established in partnership with producers, businesses, and other stakeholders. Fairtrade’s model also includes a Premium fund that farming cooperatives earn on top of the price. Co-op members vote to determine how the money is spent, typically on community programs such as improving infrastructure or accessing education. In 2020, Fairtrade Premium funds contributed more than $218M to farming communities.
Fairtrade is making this comparison even easier by partnering with online retailers like Amazon to help shoppers find Fairtrade certified products through its Climate Pledge Friendly program. Fairtrade International is one of the few certifications chosen by Amazon to launch the program, which continues to prove successful in nudging purchasing behaviors. Fairtrade America also launched a Product Finder with hundreds of certified goods sold in the US to help consumers easily identify and purchase Fairtrade certified products.
Fairtrade certification means helping to rebalance gender equality and strengthen women’s and girls’ human, social, financial and physical capital in their farming cooperatives and communities. For example, Fairtrade’s Women’s School of Leadership provides training and mentorship in leadership, economic autonomy, self-esteem and more, helping female farmers seize opportunities to speak up and become equal representatives. Additionally, because the Fairtrade Standards require all cooperative members to vote on how to use their Premium funds, Fairtrade often gives women a greater voice in their communities.
More than 75% of consumers familiar with Fairtrade agree that the Fairtrade label makes it easy to decide if a product is ethically and responsibly produced. While many companies today are mission-based, larger organizations are also meeting this consumer demand by partnering with Fairtrade to certify new product lines and/or ingredients. For example, Russell Stover Chocolate – a leader in the chocolate industry for more than 98 years – recently released Joy Bites, its first-ever collection of no-sugar-added chocolate bars carefully crafted with Fairtrade certified cocoa that comes in resealable packaging that is 100% recyclable with FSC-certified outer sleeves.
“We are energized by how consumers are showing a readiness to advocate for people and the planet through their own everyday choices,” said Peg Willingham, Executive Director, Fairtrade America. “At Fairtrade America, we will continue to partner with and support companies who want to balance the power of global trade to benefit the farmers and workers behind our favorite products, and I’m looking forward to seeing how brands take on this cause in 2022 and beyond.”
Fairtrade envisions a world in which all farmers and workers can enjoy secure, sustainable livelihoods, where trade is equitable and they have the freedom to decide on their own futures. When consumers choose to buy Fairtrade certified products, they are part of an ecosystem that enables farmers and workers to get a fair deal and have access to the resources needed to farm sustainably.
To easily identify and purchase Fairtrade-certified products, check out the Fairtrade America Product Finder including hundreds of certified goods sold in the US with more products being added on a regular basis. Businesses interested in becoming Fairtrade certified can start their journey on the Fairtrade America website.
About Fairtrade America
Fairtrade America works to support farmers and workers in regions disadvantaged by unfair trade systems by partnering with businesses and retailers to implement ethical production practices and assisting shoppers in making informed purchasing decisions. Fairtrade America is the US representative of Fairtrade International, the most recognized ethical label in the world, with national offices in more than 30 countries across the globe. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization, Fairtrade America is part of a global movement for change. Learn more at www.fairtradeamerica.org, and by connecting with Fairtrade America on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Fairtrade America betters the lives of farmers and workers in developing countries by inspiring businesses to implement ethical production practices and assisting shoppers in making informed purchasing decisions. Fairtrade America is the US chapter of Fairtrade International, the original and global leader in fair trade certification with over 30 years of experience working to make trade fair, with headquarters in more than 30 countries across the globe. A non-profit 501(c)3 organization, Fairtrade America is the world's largest and most recognized fair trade system - part of a global movement for change. Learn more at www.fairtradeamerica.org.
More from Fairtrade America