Company credentials matter to consumers. Recent research found that 62% of people choose which brand of food and drink to buy based on their attitude to sustainability, while 35% will only interact with responsible brands.
To help shoppers make sustainable choices, there are programmes in place that regulate and recognise the steps brands are taking to run their business fairly – from ethically sourcing ingredients to paying staff an appropriate wage. One of the most trusted symbols on consumer packaging is the Fairtrade Mark.
As we celebrate World Fair Trade Day 2022, we’re taking the opportunity to showcase ten of the UK’s Fairtrade Certified brands, to show how food and drink companies are driving sustainability standards across all product categories.
1. Bird & Wild
Coffee brand Bird & Wild cares about protecting people and their feathered friends. 6% of the money from sales of Bird & Wild coffee is donated to the RSPB, and the brand also donates to the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre and the Fairtrade Foundation.
Modern coffee growing practices often affect the tropical habitats that migratory birds flock to in the winter months. Bird & Wild’s blends are grown under the rainforest canopy to provide protection for these birds and other wildlife. This also allows its coffee to grow slowly and develop a distinctive, smooth flavour.
Clipper was started by a husband and wife team in the 1980s, who wanted to create great tasting, ethically sourced tea using natural production processes. And in 1994, Clipper was the first tea brand to become Fairtrade Certified.
While the brand has grown to more than 150 SKUs since then, its principles haven’t changed. Every product – from organic white tea with orange to instant hot chocolate – uses ingredients bought from suppliers on Fairtrade terms, paying Fairtrade Minimum price.
Divine Chocolate is a social enterprise founded to stop exploitation in the cocoa industry. Co-owned by cocoa farmers, the brand focuses on natural ingredients across its range of chocolate bars, gifts and drinking chocolate.
In addition to being Fairtrade Certified, Divine is also a Certified B Corp and a Soil Association certified organic producer. The brand recently released its annual Impact Report, revealing that the Kuala Kokoo Farmers Union in Ghana – which grows the cocoa for Divine Chocolate – enrolled more than 240 local people in adult literacy and numeracy programme in 2021.
4. Earth Conscious
Sustainable deodorant company Earth Conscious has developed a range of natural personal hygiene products using ingredients like jojoba wax, arrowroot powder, shea butter and coconut oil – all of which are sourced fairly and cruelty-free. There are no parabens or aluminium, and each stick is packaged in a biodegradable or recyclable cardboard tube.
In addition to manufacturing eco-friendly products, Earth Conscious also donates 10p from each of its sales to the Marine Conservation Society.
The ready to drink cocktail market has grown significantly in recent years, and HUN has taken inspiration from its success to launch wine in a can. The brand has already caught the attention of several industry heavyweights, including ex-BrewDog CEO Andy Shaw and Waitrose Executive Director, James Bailey.
Available in four varieties (including one sparkling), HUN is the UK’s first Fairtrade canned wine. It’s also vegan-friendly and fully recyclable.
6. Karma Drinks
Over two million servings of cola are consumed every day worldwide, but a very small percentage of the money generated by cola sales makes it back to the West African villages where the cola nut originates.
Karma Drinks’ founders set out to change this balance by creating their own cola recipe and donating 1% of their sales revenue to Cola nut growers and their communities in Sierra Leone. The brand has since expanded its product range to include drinks such as lemonade, orangeade and ginger ale.
7. Navitas Organics
Superfood expert Navitas Organics is dedicated to sourcing ethically grown plant-based ingredients. The brand was launched by wellness enthusiast Zach Adelman in 2003, who collaborated with a small farming cooperative in the Peruvian Andes to create its first product range.
A certified B-Corp, Navitas Organics has now developed a range of powders, blends, seeds and more that incorporate brain and body-boosting ingredients such as maqui berries, wheatgrass and hemp. And all of these continue to be ethically sourced.
It’s not just food and drink that can be Fairtrade Certified; the organisation also recognises ethical beauty brands like Odylique.
Producers of organic skincare, haircare and cosmetics, Odylique was founded more than 30 years ago by Margaret Weeds – a herbal expert searching for natural products that she and her eczema-suffering children could use without their condition flaring up.
Odylique has been awarded an Ethical Shopping Accreditation by The Good Shopping Guide and its cruelty-free approach to testing has been recognised by both PETA and The Naturewatch Foundation.
9. Proper Corn
Independent snack brand Proper Corn takes its fairness values beyond choice of ingredients and production methods; it’s embedded in company culture too. Proper Corn employees are offered unlimited holiday, equal parental leave and pay, and access to 24/7 mental health support.
Proper Corn also has strong environmental credentials. It’s the first company in the world to train every team member to be carbon literate, having committed to reaching Carbon Net Zero by 2030. Sustainable ingredients are key to achieving this objective: Proper Corn uses rapeseed, sunflower and shea oil instead of palm oil across its product range, and it’s the only UK-made sweet popcorn that insists on using Fairtrade sugar.
10. Seed and Bean
It’s not just botanical-inspired flavour combinations like roasted coffee and sea salt & orange that attracts consumers to Seed and Bean chocolate. The brand’s ethical credentials appeal to customers too.
Every Seed and Bean product is 100% organic, uses ingredients from Fairtrade-approved suppliers, and is wrapped in fully compostable packaging. Many of its products are vegan-friendly, including a plant-based alternative to milk chocolate.
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