A Message from our CEO
During my first business trip as Fairtrade’s Global CEO to the Fruit Logistic Trade Fair in Berlin I had the chance to meet a group of Fairtrade banana producers from my native Colombia and from Peru. Freddy, a banana farmer from the Magdalena region of Colombia, explained to me not only how much Fairtrade has changed his life but also those of his family and his community. There are around 300 banana farmers organized in six cooperatives in his region. Counting their families, that is around 1,200 people directly benefiting from Fairtrade. With the Fairtrade Premium, banana growers have implemented community programmes that have kept their kids in schools and out of gangs. The farmers have also hired workers on better conditions than in nearby plantations. Those workers receive a decent wage and do not drive a “moto taxi” anymore to supplement their income.
In this report you will find a rich variety of data and charts about Fairtrade’s work across different products and regions. Behind the figures there are human stories like Freddy’s. These stories exemplify how Fairtrade is transforming communities across the world. In 2015, we reached out to more than 1.66 million farmers and workers in 75 countries. Because of our work, they invested in innovative projects – providing better production facilities, training, health care, education or environmental protection.
The great news is that investment went up in 2015. Fairtrade Premium payments – the extra sum of money paid on top of the selling price – grew by ten percent and producers’ Fairtrade sales revenues were up by 14 percent – mainly due to growth in banana, coffee, cocoa and flower sales. In total, more than €117 million of Fairtrade Premium receipts were channelled to Fairtrade certified organizations.
So now, every time I eat a banana, I am reminded that it is not just a banana. Behind it there is a story about how our work is changing trade by connecting producers, traders and consumers around the world and why we need to strive even harder to convince more of you to support that change for the better by choosing Fairtrade products. Some product categories, such as sugar or cotton, saw slight decreases in their sales last year. Other producers have yet to sell more than 30 percent of their products on Fairtrade terms, which is critical to ensure stronger impact.
We must continue to press on to achieve the ambitious goals of our 2016-2020 strategy ‘Changing Trade, Changing Lives’. Together with businesses, governments and civil society we are working to ensure that the benefits of trade are distributed more equitably; that human rights are respected at every stage of the value chain, and that farmers and workers can build fair and sustainable businesses and more resilient communities.
Enjoy reading our report!
I look forward to working together to improve the lives of farmers and workers across the world!
Dario Soto Abril