Fairtrade Foundation wins Queens Award
The award is a tribute to the hard work and entrepreneurialism of tens of thousands of producers in developing countries and the UK public who see Fairtrade goods as a fantastic way of addressing global trade injustice and poverty. Increasingly companies and retailers agree and are giving shoppers what they want in greater numbers.
The Fairtrade Foundation was cited in the Queen’s Award notification as “making a tangible difference to the livelihood and quality of life of local communities within some of the world’s poorest regions and is an outstanding demonstration of the benefit which sustainable consumerism has on communities across the globe”.
Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “The Fairtrade movement has at its heart, a determination to tackle the unjust trade rules and powerful commodity markets that have helped plunge billions of small scale farmers, workers and their communities into poverty. By opening markets and setting fairer trade rules, Fairtrade is enabling communities to build sustainable communities. Fairtrade has the power to tip the balance in favour of hard pressed farmers in the southern hemisphere which is why we call on retailers and brands not currently in the Fairtrade system to join this growing movement.
“This award is recognition from the very top that there is a fairer way of doing business. Winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise will spur us on to take sales to an even greater level opening further opportunities for producer organisations to build a better future.”
Fairtrade has grown into a powerful consumer force. Estimated sales in 1998 were just £16m. Today they stand at £800m. There are over 470 Fairtrade towns in the UK and Garstang, in Lancashire, the town that kickstarted this movement, celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend.
Alex Yeboah-Afari, a board member of the Fairtrade Foundation and the African Fairtrade Network, said: “This award is a compliment to the progress of Fairtrade. For the producers, it is an acknowledgment that Fairtrade can open the doors to sustainable development.”
Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group, commented: “The Co-operative has championed the FAIRTRADE Mark since its inception and has worked closely with the Fairtrade Foundation to help the UK become one of the largest Fairtrade markets in the world. We’d like to offer our congratulations to the Fairtrade Foundation on receiving this prestigious award, which is truly well deserved, and we hope that this will help build further public awareness of Fairtrade and the many benefits it brings to growers in developing countries.”