Fairtrade Canada Celebrates May Fairtrade Month With #Itsonlyfair Campaign, Raising Awareness of the Inequities in Pay for Farmers and Workers

Ottawa – Throughout May, Fairtrade Canada – the Canadian chapter of Fairtrade International, the world’s most recognized label for social justice and sustainability – will celebrate the farmers, workers, brands, retailers, and advocates who make up the Fairtrade system during their Fairtrade Month campaign. The month-long campaign will answer the question “Why Fairtrade?” Because It’s Only Fair.

Around the world, many small-scale farmers and workers live on less than $2 a day. Fairtrade aims to break down the systems that trap farmers and workers in cycles of poverty and empower them to have more control over their lives and decide how to invest in their future. For the nearly 2 million farmers and workers who participate in Fairtrade and grow our food, Fairtrade stands for a fairer world through improved income stability; the opportunity to join forces with other producers; resources to improve yields; gender equality for all producers; as well as quality of life benefits, such as investment in their communities.

According to a 2021 study from GlobeScan, an independent research and strategy consultancy, eight in 10 Canadians who know the Fairtrade Mark agree that by buying Fairtrade they feel part of a community standing up for fairness and justice[1]. The same study found 75% of Canadians who know the Mark believe that it is even more important to support Fairtrade in building a better economy for all following the COVID pandemic.

“Fairtrade Month is the perfect time for people to commit to supporting the farmers and workers responsible for the goods we enjoy every day like coffee, chocolate, and bananas,” said Julie Francoeur, CEO of Fairtrade Canada. “At Fairtrade, we are working to create a world in which all farmers and workers enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods and believe that a decent standard of living, one that covers basic needs and supports an existence worthy of human dignity, is a human right.”

Products from brands including Café William, Kicking Horse Coffee, Level Ground Coffee, Love Crunch

Organic, Marley Coffee, Nature’s Path Organic, Prana, and Tentree carry the Fairtrade Mark by sourcing Fairtrade certified ingredients like coffee, cocoa, and cotton. When you see the Mark on packaging it means these brands are committed to fairer trading conditions and respecting people and planet. Both Kicking Horse Coffee and Level Ground Coffee are celebrating 25 years in business, and have been paying fair prices for coffee since 1997. These brands demonstrate how business can thrive all whilst respecting human rights and protecting the environment.

These brands, along with many other Canadian brands sourcing Fairtrade ingredients, will participate in Fairtrade Month, celebrating their partnership with Fairtrade Canada, the community that supports them, and their commitment to farmers and workers in the Global South. You can find a full list of retailers and brands offering deals in honour of Fairtrade Month here.

“When we started Level Ground Coffee 25 years ago, we knew we wanted coffee sourced right, with people and planet in mind,” said Stacey Toews, co-founder of Level Ground. “Now celebrating this milestone, we continue to partner with co-ops who are focused on coffee quality, environmental sustainability, and fair income for farmers. We are pleased to join Fairtrade Canada in bringing attention to Fairtrade this month and encouraging people to look for brands like ours that have committed to paying our farmers a fair price. We think coffee tastes best when it’s thoughtfully sourced and staged in the context of uplifting relationships.”

Throughout the month, shoppers can participate in online giveaways, take advantage of retailer promotions, and learn more about Fairtrade through resources including the website and Instagram page @FairtradeCanada.

Key Fairtrade events and programs taking place this Fairtrade Month include the following. Check the @FairtradeCanada Instagram page each Monday in May to see updates on all the events each week.

  • Weekly Giveaways: During the weeks of May 2, May 9, and May 16, three winners will be selected to receive a bountiful box full of Fairtrade certified coffee, chocolate, snacks, a tumbler, and a travel-ready coffee dripper.
  • Grand Prize Giveaway: A grand prize giveaway will be running all month long and one lucky winner will receive a travel coffee kit, a 6-month supply of Divine Chocolate, a 12-month coffee subscription to sample all the coffees featured during Fairtrade Month, the Fairtrade coffee table book, and a Fairtrade t-shirt. A total value of almost $800!
  • Retailer Promotions: More than 1,700 retailers across the country including Sobeys, Metro, Longo’s, and London Drugs, will be offering discounts on various Fairtrade certified products, making this the perfect time to try Fairtrade chocolate, coffee, bananas, and more. Check your local store flyers and visit the Fairtrade Canada Fairtrade Month retailer promo page for more information.
  • Instagram Live: On Thursday, May 19, at 3:30 p.m. ET, fans can participate in an Instagram Live on @FairtradeCanada during which Kelsey Ramage of Trash Collective will be live creating a series of original coffee cocktails with Fairtrade certified coffee. This event will be co-hosted by Bridgehead Coffee. Three of the followers who tune in will be selected to win that week’s giveaway boxes.
  • Instagram Takeovers: Brands including Ben & Jerry’s, Nature’s Path and Love Crunch, Four O’Clock, and Theobroma will take over Fairtrade Canada’s Instagram stories and show how they are celebrating Fairtrade Month.

Fairtrade Canada will also host Bananas, eh? Canada’s role in fixing the banana problem, a live panel event on Wednesday, May 25, at 12 p.m. ET. The event will include a discussion about the hidden cost of bananas, complications of the supply chain, and why Fairtrade is so important for banana farmers in the Global South. The panel will include Jennie Coleman, Owner and President of Equifruit; Eli Browne, Director of Corporate Sustainability at Sobeys Inc.; Edwin Melo Proaño, President of the Association of Small Producers El Guabo; and Silvia Campos, Fairtrade International Senior Advisor on Bananas. The panel will be facilitated by Fairtrade Canada’s CEO, Julie Francoeur. To register, click here.

Now more than ever, we need to ensure that farmers are getting a fair price and that the burdens of inflation and climate change are not falling solely on their shoulders. Without a fair deal, the financial impacts on farmers’ businesses and livelihoods have the potential to be devastating, placing livelihoods, sustainable farming practices, and food security at risk.

“It is essential that Canadians do our part to foster a fair trading system that is based in partnership with farmers and workers in the Global South,” said Francoeur. “We hope this observation brings attention to shoppers about Fairtrade and encourages them to choose Fairtrade products when they can. By doing so, they are supporting a living wage, better working conditions, helping fight climate change, combating forced and child labour, and promoting gender equality for the people responsible for some of our favourite goods.”


About Fairtrade Canada

Fairtrade changes the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions, and a fairer deal for farmers and workers in the Global South. Fairtrade’s approach enables farmers and workers to have more control over their lives and decide how to invest in their future. As a leader in the global movement to make trade fair, Fairtrade supports and challenges businesses and governments to do better and connects people with the farmers and workers who produce their goods. Fairtrade Canada is the Canadian chapter of Fairtrade International, the global leader in fair trade standards with more than three decades of experience working for more equitable trading practices in over 100 countries.

[1] GlobeScan Fairtrade Consumer Insights 2021 Canada Report