Understanding Fairtrade Marks
We want to make it simple for you to buy Fairtrade by providing clear labels on our products. Find out what our Fairtrade Marks mean and the commitments behind them so you can help us to support farming communities around the world.
What do Fairtrade Marks stand for?
Fairtrade Marks are there to help you make informed choices about the products you buy.
If you see a Fairtrade Mark on our products then you can be sure you’re making an ethical purchase that benefits the producer, their community, and their local environment.
Get to know the Fairtrade Marks
There are two main types of the Fairtrade Mark – ATCB and FSI – to look out for which tell you about our commitment to source particular ingredients.
The original FAIRTRADE Mark means that all ingredients that can be Fairtrade are Fairtrade, and those ingredients are fully traceable (kept separate from non-certified products) from farm to shelf. You see this Mark on single-ingredient products, such as Co-op bananas and coffee.
The FAIRTRADE Mark with an arrow is used on single-ingredient products that have been sourced using “Mass Balance.” This means 100% of the volume of ingredients that can be Fairtrade are purchased as Fairtrade, but they may be mixed with non-Fairtrade ingredients at some point in the supply chain. The amount sold by Co-op as Fairtrade must match the amount purchased. This way, the farmers and workers receive the full benefits of selling that amount of product on Fairtrade terms. Read more about mass balance here.
Many of the products in Co-op stores feature this Mark including Co-op tea and 100% of our block chocolate and chocolate confectionery.
This Mark shows the commitment to source a particular ingredient as Fairtrade.
Farmers for the labelled ingredient still receive all the benefits of Fairtrade as with the ATCB Mark, including the protection of the Fairtrade Minimum Price and the Fairtrade Premium to choose how to invest in their community.
Co-op’s commitment to sourcing 100% of cocoa used as an ingredient on Fairtrade terms uses this model and from 2020 you’ll start to see this on products in store. Co-op were also the first to sign up to the new International Fairtrade Sourcing Ingredients model for flowers, back in 2018.
You can visit the Fairtrade International page on Fairtrade Marks here for further information.
How the FSI model helps
The FSI model allows farmers and workers more opportunities to sell their produce on Fairtrade terms by giving companies greater flexibility to incorporate Fairtrade ingredients into their products. It also allows companies who are already sourcing Fairtrade to expand their sustainability commitment to other products through FSI. Watch out for the FSI Mark on your favourite products from November 2020.
Our commitment to FSI cocoa
In 2017, we extended our Fairtrade cocoa commitment to become the first supermarket to source all our cocoa as an ingredient in all own-brand products on Fairtrade terms. As part of our commitment we provide funding for Fairtrade Africa’s Women’s School of Leadership in Cote d’Ivoire, supporting gender empowerment of female cocoa farmers with leadership and business training. FSI is a way to increase, not decrease, our commitment to supporting Fairtrade producers, opening up new opportunities for sourcing Fairtrade cocoa in addition to our ATCB products.