Sustainability

Fairtrade standards enhance farmers’ economic resilience amid global crises - study finds

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Fairtrade research involved data from a cocoa cooperative from Ghana. Pic: Fairtrade
The Fairtrade research involved data from a cocoa cooperative from Ghana. Pic: Fairtrade

Related tags: Fairtrade

Research reveals Fairtrade Standards, Fairtrade pricing, and producer support programmes positively impact certified farmers and their communities when compared to non-Fairtrade certified farmers, particularly in times of difficulty and distress.

The report, Assessing the Impact of Fairtrade on Poverty Reduction and Economic Resilience through Rural Development​, was conducted by Mainlevel Consulting and jointly released by Fairtrade Germany and Fairtrade Austria.

It states that in times of global crisis, farmers who are part of Fairtrade certified producer organisations benefit from more robust and sustainable farming households, specifically in the areas of economic resilience, social wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and good governance of their cooperatives.

In times of crisis, it becomes evident that Fairtrade enhances farmers’ economic resilience and supports them in continuing their profession in challenging times,​” said Tatjana Mauthofer, researcher at Mainlevel Consulting and co-author of the study.

The study shows that the two Fairtrade mechanisms – the Minimum Price and the Premium - represent a crucial safety net for farmers, their small producer organizations and eventually, also their communities​.” 

During the study, researchers examined the same producer organisations three times over the past decade, gaining valuable insights into the changing conditions and perspectives of Fairtrade farmers.

The Fairtrade cooperatives included in the research – a cocoa cooperative from Ghana, a coffee cooperative and three banana cooperatives from Peru – were analysed alongside non-Fairtrade counterparts of similar size and location to isolate the effects of Fairtrade as compared to other external factors.

The research finds improvements in farming households’ financial situations, such as increased earnings, stronger safety nets, and boosted savings. In one specific instance, coffee farmer members of the Fairtrade certified La Florida cooperative in Peru reported earning incomes 50% higher than those of non-Fairtrade farmers. 

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