Founded in 1992, the Fairtrade Foundation is a charity based in the United Kingdom that empowers disadvantaged producers and works to prevent the injustices of conventional trading practices. It was formed under the joint auspices of CAFOD, Christian Aid, New Consumer, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement. Later supporters included the Women’s Institute, Banana Link, Methodist Relief and Development Fund, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, People & Planet amongst others. In accordance with internationally recognised and agreed fair trading standards, the Fairtrade Foundation displays the Fairtrade Mark on its products, assuring consumers that their products have been ethically sourced and supplied.
The Fairtrade Foundation seeks to empower producers by working with businesses, consumers, campaigners, farmers and workers. Setting empowerment as its primary goal, the foundation connects disadvantaged farmers with consumers, while promoting fairer trading conditions. Through empowerment of farmers and workers, the Fairtrade Foundation charity aims to eradicate poverty and achieve empowerment through enabling farmers and workers to make choices. Farmers are supported by protection of workers’ rights, while companies are afforded payments of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and an extra Fairtrade Premium to invest back into their businesses or community projects.
The Fairtrade Foundation’s Fairtrade Premium is an extra monetary amount which is added to a communal fund from which farming companies can invest into social, economic and environmental projects. The Fairtrade Premium is granted to farmers in addition to the price of their labour and produce, such as the Cocoa premium in which farmers receive $200 extra per tonne of cocoa that they supply. While the Fairtrade Premium is calculated as a percentage of the volume supplied, its rate is adjusted frequently to account for local inflation. In 2017, a total of €188.8 million was paid to farmers in the form of the Fairtrade Premium. In that same period, on average, Fairtrade producers received €118,000 each in the Fairtrade Premium.