Fairtrade Sourcing Programmes

About the Fairtrade Sourcing Programmes

More and more businesses are in fact making commitments to ‘responsible sourcing’ - which means buying their key commodities fairly and sustainably as a core part of how they do business. Fairtrade Sourcing Programmes for cocoa, sugar or cotton connect Fairtrade farmers with companies wanting to buy these specific commodities on Fairtrade terms. Rather than focusing on all the ingredients for one final product, Fairtrade Sourcing Programs means companies can make big commitments to sourcing one or more specific commodities for use across ranges, or even their whole business. It’s one more way for businesses to work with Fairtrade, alongside certifying and labeling products with the FAIRTRADE Mark.

The Fairtrade Sourcing Programmes have the same high standards of Fairtrade. Producers will receive all the Fairtrade benefits, including all Fairtrade Standards and the Fairtrade Development Premium. Only the sourcing and labelling model is different.

For example:

  • A confectionery company can decide to use Fairtrade sugar for all its sweet treats;
  • A clothing brand can commit to source increasing amounts of cotton as Fairtrade for all its clothing lines;
  • A retail brand could buy some or all of its cocoa as Fairtrade to use across their chocolate bar ranges, and maybe even their biscuits and cakes too.

All these kind of commitments will add up to more sales of Fairtrade farmers’ crops, and more of the Fairtrade benefits rolling into their communities

Programme Marks

In order to represent this different approach, and to give Fairtrade Sourcing Programmes their own identity, we have developed the new FAIRTRADE Programme Marks:

Companies who commit to sourcing Fairtrade cocoa, sugar or cotton through our Fairtrade Sourcing Programmes model will be able to use the logos in all corporate communications and on the back of packaging, as long as they specify the level of commitment, for example '50% of our sugar is sourced on Fairtrade terms'. Only 100% commitments will allow the use of the Marks on front pack.

Why did Fairtrade create this new model?

Our farmers are telling us they want to sell more products on Fairtrade terms. And there’s still many more we haven’t reached. Only 1.2% of the cocoa in the world is sold on Fairtrade terms. In sugar and cotton it’s even less.

At the same time, the potential for growth is huge. Global brands have committed publicly to purchasing a total of about 2 million tonnes of sustainable cotton over the next two years alone. Other companies are making similar public commitments for cocoa and sugar.

This represents a massive opportunity for the farmers who grow these crops. Fairtrade Sourcing Programmes allow farmers to tap this potential.

More benefits for everyone

The Fairtrade Sourcing Programmes bring more of the benefits of Fairtrade to everyone involved, starting with farmers:

  • More benefits for farmers: the Fairtrade Sourcing Programmes give farmers new opportunities to tap into the growing demand for fair and sustainable cocoa, sugar and cotton. This means they can bring more of the benefits of Fairtrade into their lives and their communities.
  • More opportunities for businesses: the new Fairtrade Sourcing Programmes give businesses new ways to work with Fairtrade or to increase their commitments, focussing on one or two commodities at a time to improve the lives of the farmers who grow them.
  • More choices for shoppers: because these Sourcing Programmes create more opportunities for businesses to source Fairtrade commodities, there’ll be more ways for shoppers to support Fairtrade farmers and workers through their purchases.