Fairtrade Fortnight will also be moved to September as part of plans

The Fairtrade Foundation is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Fairtrade Mark in the UK this year with a series of special events and campaigns.

Bananas are a major Fairtrade product

Bananas are a major Fairtrade product

Fairtrade-certified products first appeared on UK supermarket shelves three decades ago, with the first product, Green & Black’s Maya Gold Chocolate,  launched in 1994, followed by Cafédirect and Percol coffees, and Clipper tea. 

There are now more than 6,000 Fairtrade products in the UK alone, with fruit such as bananas representing some of the best-selling lines. 

In 2022 alone, sales of Fairtrade products in the UK generated approximately £30m in Fairtrade Premium for farmers and workers to invest in business and community projects of their choice, including healthcare, education and environmental initiatives.

The 30th anniversary year will see the Fairtrade Foundation 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 making sure farmers are not unfairly burdened by costs as part of new deforestation legislation from the UK and the EU.

The Foundation also announced that it will be changing its usual Fairtrade Fortnight date, moving the annual two-week campaign from February to 9-22 September. Last year’s Fairtrade Fortnight saw more than 700 grassroots-led events take place around the country. More details are expected to be announced soon.

Celebration and ambition 

Fairtrade Foundation chief executive Mike Gidney said: “We are incredibly excited to be able to mark this very important milestone. 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.

“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.

“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.

“Of course, there is still so much to be done. 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.

“Even while we celebrate the achievements of the Fairtrade movement, and the inspirational commitments of campaigners, communities and companies alike, we are as ambitious as we were on day one to bring the benefits of Fairtrade to more people.

“There will be many opportunities to celebrate this year, many stories of the inspiring people who have worked hard to build the Fairtrade movement over the years, bringing lasting change not only to farmers, but also to companies in the UK and to public attitudes too. We know from research that consumers want to be part of the change. That’s a wonderful mandate for companies to join in, so that together we really can make trade fair for everyone.”