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Sustain / Healthy Schools & Fair Trade / Background

Fairtrade certified products

The Fairtrade mark is a label that appears on products as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in poor countries are getting a better deal. For a product to display the Fairtrade Mark it must meet international Fairtrade standards. Producers receive a minimum price that covers the cost of sustainable production and an extra premium that is invested in social or economic development projects.

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for around half a million farmers and workers in poor countries. By requiring companies to pay above market prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their lot and have more control over their lives.

The Fairtrade mark now appears on nearly 2,000 different products – most of them being food and drink products, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit, fruit juice, dried fruit and snacks.

The Fairtrade mark is run in the UK by the Fairtrade Foundation (; other fairly traded products are available from Oxfam ( and from Traidcraft (

Healthy Schools & Fair Trade: Sustain was contracted by Young Co-operatives to assess the implications of the new school food standards for fair-trade food and drink products sold in schools. This work was supported by a grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

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