What does “Fairtrade Tea” mean?

What does “Fairtrade Tea” mean?

Fairtrade tea certification and principles empower farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global market place.

Fairtrade tea principles include:

  • Fair Price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
  • Fair labor conditions: Workers on Fairtrade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
  • Direct trade: With Fairtrade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Democratic and transparent organizations: Fairtrade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fairtrade revenues.
  • Community development: Fairtrade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings, and organic certification.
  • Environmental sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.

Organic and fairtrade tea is growing in popularity as people realize the advantages of spending a bit more per purchase with the payback being benefits in both health and human terms. Most people may not realize that tea is often grown on plantations in the developing world where the crops are sprayed with many chemicals and pesticides. The workers who pick the leaves are not only exposed to this danger; they are often paid a fractional minimal wage as well.


  • EU Fairtrade
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  • Nassa, Bio Suisse
  • BSI, Ethical Tea Partnership
  • Fair Trade, Forest Garden Product
  • Carbon Neutral, Ceylon Tea