Where do the data in this report come from?

There are three main sources of data used to generate this report.

Data on the number, type, and geographical spread of Fairtrade-certified producer organizations and the product certifications are drawn from the main certification database held by FLOCERT, the certification body for Fairtrade. These data capture the number, type and location of producer organizations holding Fairtrade certification at the end of 2015.

In order to have a more detailed picture of Fairtrade producer organizations and of Fairtrade performance from the producer perspective, Fairtrade International requests FLOCERT to collect data for a range of monitoring indicators during Fairtrade audits. The list of indicators that we collect is the following:

  • Number and type of Fairtrade-certified producer organizations
  • Number of members and number of workers in Fairtrade-certified producer organizations
  • Number and type of other certifications held by the producer organization
  • Gender breakdown of membership or workforce
  • Land area used for cultivation of the Fairtrade-certified crop or crops
  • Total Fairtrade certifiable crop volume produced
  • Organic/conventional breakdown of Fairtrade certifiable crop production
  • Total crop volumes sold by the producer organization
  • Total sales revenues of the producer organization
  • Total volumes sold as Fairtrade by the producer organization
  • Total Fairtrade sales revenues of the producer organization
  • Total Fairtrade Premium received by the producer organization
  • Details of the how the Fairtrade Premium has been used by the producer organization
  • Data for each indicator can be aggregated and analysed by country, by region, by product, or by producer type.

The data in this report are drawn from the reports of all audits undertaken between February 2015 and February 2016. For producer organizations where no audit was undertaken within this time period, data from the most recent previous audit report have been used as the most recent data available. Fifty-nine percent of the audit reports used to generate this monitoring data set were compiled in 2015 or 2014.

In this report, we include summary results from the household survey project that was undertaken during 2016. The Fairtrade system is committed to making the full results of our commissioned research and evaluations public, wherever possible. Full results of the research projects referenced in this report are already available on the Fairtrade International website, or will be available soon.

 

Time period covered by the data

In the audit reports, producer organizations are asked to report their production volumes, sales volumes, and sales and Fairtrade Premium incomes retrospectively. Many organizations report this for the 12-month period preceding the audit. This means that the reporting of retrospective data does not always correspond to a precise calendar year. In this report, the majority of these data span calendar years 2013–14. In all cases, the data represent the most recent audit-based information available for the producer organization in question.

 

Producer data and market data

This report draws on data reported by producers. Fairtrade also publishes market figures separately, indicating Fairtrade’s performance in the markets for which we are responsible. These market figures are published in Fairtrade International’s Annual Report and are available on our website.

The Fairtrade sales volumes that are reported by producer organizations do not correspond directly with the volumes sold in the markets. There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Not all product volumes bought on Fairtrade terms are sold with the FAIRTRADE Marks on the final package or through the Fairtrade Sourcing Programs (FSPs). When producers sell their products to traders on Fairtrade terms, they often do not know the ultimate market destination of their product. In particular, they are not able to distinguish how much of their product will eventually be sold by other fair or ethical trade schemes, such as the Fair Trade USA label, as opposed to the international FAIRTRADE Marks and Fairtrade Sourcing Programs (FSPs). Fairtrade International’s market sales figures do not include sales of products licensed by other fair or ethical trade schemes. When producers report their Fairtrade sales and Fairtrade Premium receipts, however, they include all sales made on Fairtrade terms and according to the international Fairtrade Standards, regardless of ultimate market destination. For this reason, we expect to see that producer-reported sales for some products will be higher than reported market sales for products bearing the FAIRTRADE Mark. This affects coffee in particular.
  •  Market figures are based on conversions of finished product volumes—such as the vanilla or cocoa or sugar in a chocolate bar—into production volumes, which are often in an unprocessed form. This process can be unreliable, and can lead to apparent discrepancies between market and producer figures.
  •  Product wastage and storage, which means that goods sold as Fairtrade either do not reach markets, or enter market a long time after the sale is made.
  • Differing reporting periods.

 

Data accuracy and limitations

The data have been extensively checked and cleaned. However, in a monitoring project of this size and nature there are undoubtedly some errors and weaknesses. Weaknesses are likely to be more exposed in the smaller products (because the data sample is smaller), which is why the analysis here focuses on the major Fairtrade products. Data for smaller products should be taken as indicative only. Similarly, data at regional and country level are weaker than global-level data.

 

Disclaimer

The monitoring data in this report are based on data collected by FLOCERT, and reported by producer organizations through the audit process. Fairtrade International is not responsible for the accuracy of the data. The report has been compiled to the best of our knowledge and is provided for informational purposes only. Fairtrade International reserves the right to update the monitoring data as new information becomes available. The data are provided ‘as is’ and no warranty of any kind is given for the accuracy and reliability of the data. Fairtrade International will not be liable for any claims or damages related to the quality and completeness of the data, as far as it is permitted under law.