The premium is “the extra sum of money paid on top of the selling price that farmers and workers invest in business or community projects of their choice,” the organization Fairtrade International said in a press release.
“The report reflects Fairtrade’s belief that the biggest driver of economic improvement is higher Fairtrade sales,” the organization said. Last calendar year saw significant growth in sales of coffee (18 percent), bananas (12 percent) and cocoa (27 percent).
“Farmers and workers need to significantly scale up their Fairtrade sales if they are to escape from poverty,” said Marike de Peña, board chair of Fairtrade International. “Increased Fairtrade sales are the biggest driver of economic improvement, enabling producer organizations to secure the revenues they need for workers to be paid a living wage and for farmers and artisanal miners to earn a living income.”
According to the organization, sales alone will not solve inequality, create opportunity and end exploitation. Many of the problems faced by farmers and workers are deeply ingrained after generations - sometimes centuries - of marginalization and exploitation. New actions on climate, textiles and gender are among a range of initiatives introduced by Fairtrade over the past year and showcased in its most recently released annual report.
“Children and young people are at the heart of Fairtrade’s Youth Inclusive Community Based Monitoring and Remediation (YICBMR) system on child labour, which is being rolled out in 11 countries,” the organization said.
“The recently-refreshed gender strategy aims to empower both men and women farmers, workers and their employers to build communities where everybody feels equally valued - for example in El Salvador, where a Leadership Training & Women’s Empowerment School has been set up for coffee farmers," it added.
“Fairtrade was born from a grassroots movement for trade justice,” said Marike de Peña. “We haven’t forgotten our roots, and we continue to campaign against policies that leave the most vulnerable farmers and workers unprotected.”