More than two-thirds of Fairtrade farmers live in Africa and the Middle East, just under a quarter in Latin America and the Caribbean and the rest are in Asia and the Pacific. Together they produce everything from the Fairtrade staples of coffee, cocoa and bananas to honey and spices.
In 2015, 67 percent of all the farmers within Fairtrade-certified small producer organizations lived in Africa and the Middle East, an increase of one percent since 2014. Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for 23 percent – up five percent on the previous year. Only 11 percent live in Asia and Pacific – that’s down six percent on 2014. This was mainly due to a number of organizations producing coffee and nuts leaving the system.
Coffee, tea and cocoa remain the most significant products in terms of number of farmers involved. Together, they account for almost nine out of every ten farmers in the Fairtrade system. In fact, bananas, cane sugar, cocoa, coffee, seed cotton and tea, account for 95 percent of all Fairtrade farmers.
Last year, cocoa and coffee showed the strongest growth in the number of farmers, with a more modest increase in banana farmers. Cocoa grew by nine percent, coffee by four percent and bananas by three percent.
The number of farmers producing cane sugar fell slightly and we saw a continuation of the decline in numbers of seed cotton farmers.
Fairtrade and other ethical trade organizations continue to work hard to reverse these trends and provide more support for farmers who are hit hardest by adverse trading conditions.