Ethical labelling schemes, and why Fairtrade is unique
Fairtrade was the first labelling scheme that guaranteed farmers in developing countries a fair deal. Since it started several other schemes have been created, which can make it confusing for shoppers.
The aims and standards of the schemes are not the same but here is a summary of the main ones to help you make an informed choice:
Rainforest Alliance- emphasises protection for tropical forests
UTZ Certified - aims for sustainable production of tea, coffee and cocoa
Farmer 30 - a scheme run by Origin coffee that certifies some of their coffees based on a financial, social and environmental audit.
Some companies have set up trading relationships with particular communities and should be able to tell you how they work to benefit producers. Examples in Exeter include Chadni Chowk's clothing and textiles, the ChocFest chocolate sold by Chandos Deli and Hotel Chocolat's trade with Ghana.
There are also a number of different organic certification schemes. Fairtrade products do not meet this standard unless they carry both the Fairtrade and organic symbols.
Among all these labels, Fairtrade is the only one with the aim of tackling poverty and empowering producers in developing countries. Its guarantee of fair and stable prices is a unique benefit to producers. Read more at Why is Fairtrade unique?