PHOTO: Fairtrade cotton farmer, Ibrahim Keita, 28, in Batimakana, Kita, Mali

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.

The Fairtrade vision is of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.

Birmingham: A Fairtrade City

A Fairtrade City (or town, village, island, borough, county, zone, district or region!) has made a commitment to support Fairtrade. Any area can work towards Fairtrade status and everyone can be involved. Community organisations, faith groups, businesses, schools and individuals all contribute to Fairtrade status for their locality by pledging to do what they can to support Fairtrade.

PHOTO: Birmingham Panorama

Birmingham has been a Fairtrade City since November 2005, after Birmingham City Council passed a resolution to actively promote and support Fairtrade, recognising the importance of Fairtrade status for Birmingham as an international city committed to global sustainable development.

A range of Fairtrade products are now readily available from over 200 retail outlets and catering establishments within the city and Fairtrade products are used by a large number of local work places and community organisations.

PHOTO: Selection of products with the FAIRTRADE MarkThe FAIRTRADE Mark

The familiar FAIRTRADE Mark is a registered certification label for products sourced from producers in developing countries. Products with the FAIRTRADE Mark must meet international Fairtrade standards agreed through research and consultation with members of the Fairtrade scheme, including farmers and workers themselves, traders, NGOs, academic institutions and labelling organisations such as the Fairtrade Foundation.

Amongst other things, these standards ensure producers get a guaranteed Fairtrade minimum price to cover their costs, set up mutually beneficial long-term trading relationships and set clear criteria to ensure that products are produced and traded under fair and environmentally responsible conditions.

The Fairtrade Premium

But the Fairtrade standards are not just a list of requirements for farmers and traders to farm and trade responsibly. They go further to support disadvantaged small-scale farmers and plantation workers through social, economic and environmental development.

The Fairtrade premium is a sum of money paid on top of the agreed Fairtrade price for investment in development projects decided upon democratically by producers within the farmers’ organisation or by workers on a plantation. The Fairtrade premium has transformed the lives of communities in developing countries by providing such things as schools, healthcare facilities, water supplies and farm improvements.

PHOTO: Borehole, Kasthinula, Malawi

Play your part…

“For us it may be just a matter of consumer choice; for the growers, Fairtrade can be a matter of life and death.”

We hope that you will play your part in supporting producers in the developing world by the choices you make.

  • The FAIRTRADE MarkBuy fairly-traded products when you do your shopping. Always look for the distinctive FAIRTRADE Mark. If you can’t find a Fairtrade option, speak to the manager or ask at the Customer Service desk.
  • Choose a Fairtrade café for your morning coffee or afternoon tea. Ask other cafés, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs to serve Fairtrade drinks and snacks.
  • Persuade your workplace to change to Fairtrade refreshments for staff, clients and visitors.
  • Ask for Fairtrade products to be served at meetings of any organisations you belong to.
  • Share with your family and friends the benefits of using fairly traded products and encourage them to choose Fairtrade.

Fairtrade Association Birmingham

PHOTO: Children exploring making ethical choices

Fairtrade Association Birmingham (FAB) is the voluntary organisation of Fairtrade campaigners in Birmingham.

FAB first came together to steer the city through the goals required to gain its formal Fairtrade status.

FAB now works to ensure that the Birmingham’s Fairtrade credentials are maintained, and continues to promote fair and ethical trade and to educate the community in the issues surrounding trade, with the ultimate aim of transforming Birmingham into a world-changing, wholly ethical city.