Farmers and workers are reaping the benefits of Fairtrade as the number of producer organisations grew by 10 percent last year to 991, representing over 1.2 million farmers and workers. Fairtrade Premium payments also grew to reach 65 million euros.
The FAIRTRADE mark is the world’s most recognised ethical label, according to the global survey and their products are available in over 120 countries.
The Annual Report; 'For Producers, With Producers' describes how producer organisations have played a crucial role in helping to spread the Fairtrade way of working.
“Fairtrade is a change agent. It promotes a new way of being; producers farm more responsibly, companies do business more responsibly and consumers purchase more responsibly,” said Raul del Águila, one of the four producer representatives on the Board of Fairtrade International.
“And it works because it’s about involving people throughout the whole system in deciding and making this change.”
In 2011 they agreed to the historic decision to increase producer representation in the General Assembly by 50 percent, giving an equal voice in Fairtrade’s highest decision-making body.
The Vice Chair position is now held by a producer network representative, Marike de Peña and North African producers launched a new regional Fairtrade network, joining Africa governance.
Fairtrade also set up programmes to help producer’s needs. They spent 47 percent of their budget on direct services for producers and have 52 liaison officers offering support and training on the ground.
Fairtrade has strong global standards in its products. There are Fairtrade Standards available for 300 raw products, 3 times more than last year and 1,400 producers were asked for their input on standards in 2011 – almost half responded.
The first ever Fairtrade producer conference was held in Central Asia with the United Nations Development Programme in November 2011.