What is Fairtrade?
Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in some of the poorest countries in the world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
Doves Farm and Fairtrade
At Doves Farm we have 25 products certified with the Fairtrade Foundation, including cereal bars, flapjacks and cookies. We try to source as many Fairtrade ingredients as we can for our products – for example, 39.8% of the ingredients in our Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are Fairtrade. All our Fairtrade ingredients are also organically grown. At the heart of our business, we are an organic farm, so we know that maintaining fair and sustainable agricultural systems is extremely important. We aim to establish long term relationships with customers and suppliers and to ensure that fairly priced contracts are settled in a timely fashion. We also understand the special circumstances of some Fairtrade suppliers and have supported some growers through pre-financing.
During Fairtrade Fortnight we always put on a range of activities for our staff, such as card games and quizzes that highlight the benefits of Fairtrade. We also sponsored a group of farmers in Uganda who are in the process of application for Fairtrade status to grow organic fruit.
In 2011 we worked alongside our wholesalers and their retailers for several months to plan special price promotions on our Fairtrade products. During Fairtrade Fortnight we ran a promotion on our Internet Shop to raise awareness amongst our direct customers; alongside competitions and Fairtrade Facts on Twitter and Facebook as well as in our monthly e-newsletter. In 2011, we will also keep striving to source Fairtrade ingredients for any new products we launch.
Why should I buy Fairtrade?
We would encourage our customers to look out for the Fairtrade mark and buy Fairtrade wherever possible. Fairtrade ingredients/commodities have a fixed minimum price, so producers will be safe in the knowledge they will always get the agreed price for their crops or goods. It also helps producers to improve the situation for their workers and have more control over their lives.
Fairtrade empowers small-scale producers and farmers and is the ethical choice for those who care about the provenance of their food.
In addition to this, there is the Fairtrade premium, a sum of money paid on top of the agreed Fairtrade price for investment in social, environmental or economic development projects, decided upon democratically by producers within the farmers’ organisation or by workers on a plantation. The premium fund is typically invested in education and healthcare, farm improvements to increase yield and quality, or processing facilities to increase income.