What is Fairtrade?

Fairtrade supports the development of thriving farming and worker communities giving them more control over their futures and protecting the environment where they live and work.  It is about getting better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. 

Buying Fairtrade products is your opportunity to connect with the people who grow the produce that we all depend on. When you see the FAIRTRADE mark on products like coffee, tea, sugar, cotton or fruit you know that the producers will have been paid a fair, stable price with longer-term trading relationships that offer more stability. 

The Fairtrade Foundation is the UK member of Fairtrade International (FLO) which is the standard setting and certification organisation for Fairtrade. The Fairtrade Foundation has a wealth of information on its website at: www.fairtrade.org.uk

Newcastle a Fairtrade City

Newcastle is proud to have been a Fairtrade City since 2003. When we achieved Fairtrade status we were one of the first cities in the country to become a Fairtrade City. 

To be a Fairtrade city we need to develop an action plan around five goals:

  1. Council resolves to support Fairtrade, serve Fairtrade products and act as the City’s flagship employer;
  2. Fairtrade products are readily available in local shops and served in cafes and catering establishments;
  3. Workplaces and community organisations support Fairtrade and use Fairtrade products where possible;
  4. Events and media coverage raise awareness and understanding of Fairtrade across the community; and
  5. A Fairtrade steering group representing a range of local organisations and sectors meets regularly to develop and gain support for Fairtrade City

Newcastle Fairtrade Partnership

In Newcastle, our steering group is known as the Newcastle Fairtrade Partnership. Each member of the Newcastle Fairtrade Partnership is

responsible for the delivery of the Fairtrade Action Plan and for encouraging other individuals and organisations to participate in Fairtrade activities.

The Fairtrade Foundation’s 2016 – 2020 strategy, Changing Trade, Changing Lives: Fairtrade Can, is seeking new ways to increase the impact and benefits of trade for marginalised farmers and workers by:

  • Focussing on impact;
  • Making Fairtrade personal;
  • Improving and innovating; and
  • Strengthening the organisation

The Newcastle Fairtrade Partnership is using these goals, which are linked to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to provide structure to our action plan.

We are always keen to recruit new members. If you are interested in becoming a member of the partnership, and advancing the Fairtrade agenda in Newcastle, please get in touch using the contact details below.

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade Fortnight is when campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries. During these two weeks Fairtrade Towns and Cities hold a series of events dedicated to raising awareness of Fairtrade Products.

In 2017 Fairtrade Fortnight runs from Monday 27 February to Sunday 12 March. The theme this year is “It’s time to put Fairtrade in your break.” Find out what’s happening in Newcastle on our Facebook page here or to find out about events across the UK, visit the Fairtrade Foundation’s website.

Fairtrade Awards

In 2017, Newcastle Fairtrade Partnership launched the first annual Newcastle Fairtrade Awards. The awards will recognise businesses, organisations and groups who are committed to selling serving or using Fairtrade products. Newcastle Fairtrade Awards has three categories:

  • Small and medium businesses
  • Not for profit organisations
  • Community groups

Anyone can nominate a business, organisation or group by sending a short email to fairtrade@newcastle.gov.uk and states:

  • Who is being nominated
  • How they are committed to Fairtrade
  • Why they should win

The closing date for nominations is Friday 17 February 2017. Shortlisted candidates will go to a public vote with the winners being announced during Fairtrade Fortnight.

Becoming a Fairtrade School

Becoming a Fairtrade School means joining a worldwide movement – a movement where young people learn that, whatever their age, they have the power to make a difference in the world.

It offers a great opportunity to look at global issues such as where our food comes from and how we are connected to people around the world. Students can also learn a range of skills, from teamwork and co-operation to persuasive writing to running a stall or tuck shop.

Teaching about Fairtrade fits different curriculum areas, especially Geography, Citizenship and PSHE. There are three types of Fairtrade school:

FairAware Schools teach students where their food comes from and what is meant by ‘fairness’. They also evaluate how Fairtrade can work to address unfairness in supply chains.

FairActive Schools are all about taking action. They may hold community events, run campaigns or get some local schools together to spread the word about trade justice.

FairAchiever Schools students understand the connections between themselves and farmers in some of the poorest countries in the world through the things they buy and are passionate about changing the system to make trade fair. 

You can find out more about becoming a Fairtrade school at: http://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/fairtrade-schools-awards/

Becoming a Fairtrade Business

Whatever your business, there are lots of ways you can become more Fairtrade friendly. From producing certified Fairtrade Products, becoming a stockist, running a campaign, or just serving Fairtrade Tea and Coffee in your offices. By putting the FAIRTRADE Mark on your products, stocking Fairtrade goods or serving them to your customers you can demonstrate your ethical commitment to your customers, have a positive impact on the producers of the commodities you work with and get closer to your supply chain.  You can find more at https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/for-business

We’re also always keen to involve local businesses in our partnership. If you are interested please email fairtrade@newcastle.gov.uk.

Contact us

If you are interested in joining the partnership, running local events, becoming a Fairtrade School or organisation, or just want to tell us about your views on Fairtrade, we’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch with us by emailing fairtrade@newcastle.gov.uk.