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Q & A's about Fairtrade in Leighton-Linslade


GCSE students- this is probably the page you're looking for.


I'll get round to rewriting it at some point.



What is Fairtrade?


Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.


By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices (which must never fall lower than the market price), Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.


What is the FAIRTRADE Mark?


The FAIRTRADE Mark is an independent consumer label which appears on UK products as a guarantee that they have been certified against internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. It shares internationally recognised Fairtrade standards with initiatives in 20 other countries, working together globally with producer networks as Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO). The Mark indicates that the product has been certified to give a better deal to the producers involved – it does not act as an endorsement of an entire company’s business practices.


What is a Fairtrade Town (or School, University, Faith Group)?


The Fairtrade Foundation in the UK runs a campaign network with local community groups in towns, schools, faith groups and universities. Working to the Fairtrade Foundation’s recognised goals Leighton Linslade became a Fairtrade Town in 2005. Fairtrade Leighton Linslade Steering Group is a group of volunteers who aim to boost awareness and understanding of trade issues, and promote the purchase of Fairtrade products as a way that ordinary people can make a difference to the lives of producers. We are required to renew our commitment to continue our campaign and raising awareness through events and activities across the Town. We keep renewing, so we must be doing something right.

Where can I buy Fairtrade products?


Details of local stockists can be found on the ‘Local Stockists and Suppliers’ page on this website. They are available in major supermarkets, independent shops, in cafés, restaurants, through catering suppliers and wholesales, as well as through online shopping channels. Also check out shops that are part of BAFTS (British Association of Fair Trade Shops) which often have product ranges not available in mainstream stores. 


Can someone come and give a talk to my group?


Fairtrade Leighton-Linslade volunteers are able to offer talks, presentations and stalls at a variety of events across the town. Previous community based activity carried out by the Steering Group include a presentation on Fairtrade Cotton at Gilbert Inglefield School, a talk to the LB Connect Business Breakfast, involvement in the Eco Tent at the Carnival, a regular presence at the annual Canal Festival and most recently a presentation to the local Labour Party and Woodcraft Folk. If you would like someone to come and talk to your group or would like to have a Fairtrade presence at your event please get in touch with us through the ‘Contact Us’ link.


More general 5 FAQs


What are Fairtrade standards?


Fairtrade standards comprise both minimum social, economic and environmental requirements, which producers must meet to be certified, plus progress requirements that encourage continuous improvement to develop farmers’ organisations or the situation of estate workers.


What is the Fairtrade premium?


Money paid on top of the Fairtrade minimum price that is invested in social, environmental and economic developmental projects, decided upon democratically by a committee of producers within the organisation or of workers on a plantation.


How much of the price we pay for Fairtrade products goes back to the producers?


Whatever the price of the product on the shelf, only the FAIRTRADE Mark ensures that the producers have received what has been agreed to be a fairer price, as well as the social premiums to invest in the future of their communities. The Fairtrade price applies at the point where the producer organisation sells to the next person in the supply chain (usually an exporter or importer). It is not calculated as a proportion of the final retail price, which is negotiated between the product manufacturer and the retailer.


Who is responsible for setting Fairtrade standards?


All Fairtrade standards, including minimum prices and premiums are set by the Standards Unit at FLO and the minimum prices and premiums for each product are included in the product-specific standards available on their website. The process for agreeing international Fairtrade standards follows the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Social and Environmental Labelling, where stakeholders (including producers, traders, NGOs) participate in the research and consultation process and final decision making. Link here.


Why doesn’t the FAIRTRADE Mark apply to UK farmers?

The FAIRTRADE Mark was established specifically to support the most disadvantaged producers in the world by using trade as a tool for sustainable development. We do recognise that many farmers in the UK face similar issues as farmers elsewhere, not least ensuring that they get a decent return for upholding social and environmental standards in their production. However there are also some major differences. For example, farmers in developing countries often have little infrastructural support, social security systems or other safety nets available if they cannot get a fair price for their products. Our Fairtrade standards, and our expertise, are specifically focused on enabling producers in developing countries tackle poverty through trade. If the Foundation diverted its own attention from this mission, this could potentially end up diluting the benefits of Fairtrade for the very farmers and workers we were established to support.


We agree that the principles behind fair trade may provide useful insight into the debate on improving the situation for UK producers. The Foundation is not convinced, however, that a labelling scheme is the right solution to the problems affecting UK farmers. A plethora of similar sounding labelling initiatives could result in confusion for consumers and undermine both the local cause and the global situation we care so deeply about. Rather than yet another label, the Foundation believes a more rigorous investigation by government and the industry itself is needed. This should look into the causes behind the problems being experienced by domestic producers, so that more robust and wide reaching policy tools can be identified – to benefit all affected farmers, and to reassure all concerned shoppers.

Want some chocolate?

Of course you do. You'll be wanting to know where to buy Fairtrade chocolate, because you're a good person. At least, you like to think you are. So here goes; the Fairtrade Foundation guide to buying chocolate in supermarkets and on the High Street:

Link to the Fairtrade Foundation chocolate guide

How you can help?

1 Buy Fairtrade products as part of your shopping. 
2 If a shop doesn't stock the Fairtrade product you want, please ask them. Shops may be unaware of the demand for these items. 
3 Buy Fairtrade tea or coffee for meetings/coffee mornings you organise. 
4 Stay informed by subscribing to "Fair Comment" the Fairtrade Foundation's free newsletter. 
5 Get your favourite cafe or your workplace to switch to Fairtrade refreshments. 
6 Tell your friends about Fairtrade. 
7 When buying clothes why not seek out something made from Fairtade Certified Cotton. 
8 Organise an event or stall to promote Fairtrade. 
9 Choose a fairly traded craft item for the next gift you buy. 
Remember that every little helps, so every fairly traded bar of chocolate, gift item, or card that you buy means supporting workers livelihoods. Choose Fairtrade because it works! 


What else can I do to support Fairtrade?


Invite your friends and neighbours around for a cup of Fairtrade coffee or tea.

Go to for a recipe using Fairtrade ingredients.

Find out who buys the tea and coffee that's served in your workplace and ask them to consider using Fairtrade products. Find out more here

Ask your cafeteria to stock Fairtrade Juice and snack bars - tell them that chocolate and muesli bars are good brain food!

Celebrate with a Fairtrade bottle of wine , or a box of Fairtrade chocolates.

Leighton Linslade is the first Fairtrade town in Bedfordshire, why not volunteer to give us a hand from time to time - its fun! Or help towards the cost of an event. 

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