What is Fairtrade?
Fairtrade began in the 1980s in response to the struggles faced by Mexican coffee farmers following the collapse of world coffee prices. In 1992, the UK branch of Fairtrade – The Fairtrade Foundation – was founded. Across 2020 UK shoppers helped generate $41 million in Fairtrade Premiums for Fairtrade communities.
What is Fairtrade Fortnight?
For two weeks a year, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to share Fairtrade stories. The stories of the people who grow our food and drinks, mine our gold and who grow the cotton in our clothes. People who are often exploited and underpaid
This is why we’re proud to support farmers and workers. This year, Fairtrade Fortnight focuses on supporting farmers in their fight against the climate crisis. Choosing Fairtrade is about social justice, and there is no social justice without climate justice.
Poverty is also a key contributor to further environmental degradation. It contributes to the inability for farmers to adapt to environmental shocks. By working with Fairtrade, we strengthen environmental and climate protection for our farmers and workers. By choosing Fairtrade products, you too make a wider positive impact on the planet.
Fairtrade Premiums are made up of two halves. The first is that we pay a guaranteed minimum price per tonne of quinoa that we buy in Peru. Around $2600, compared to the current market price of around $2000. On top of this, we then pay a 10% premium of $260.
This means, if the market is not doing as well as usual, our farmers are still guaranteed a minimum price. Even if the pre-premium price is above market price. And it guarantees a minimum wage for the farmers. Something which doesn’t currently exist in much of the agricultural world at the moment.
At Quinola, we passed a significant milestone as of March 2021. The total Fairtrade premiums we have paid over and above the market price has now passed the $300,000 mark since the company’s inception. An incredible amount of additional income for farmers who often live on $5000 a year.
One key aspect of Fairtrade Premium is the idea of TRADE not AID. It is up to the farmers to decide what they do with the extra money earnt. It is for them to choose in their communities where they put the money. The only condition is that 30% of the premium must go on environmental projects. Beyond this, it is all within the famers control. They are the ones who really know where the money can benefit them and their communities most.