About Fairtrade

Who we are

The Fairtrade Foundation is the independent non-profit organisation that licenses use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products in the UK in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards.  

The Foundation was established in 1992 by CAFODChristian AidOxfamTraidcraft, the World Development Movement, and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.  Member organisations now also include Banana LinkMethodist Relief and Development FundNational Campaigner CommitteeNicaragua Solidarity CampaignPeople & Planet, Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund,Shared Interest FoundationSoroptimist International , Tearfund and Commitment to Life / United Reformed Church.

The Foundation is the UK member of Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO), which unites 21 labelling initiatives across Europe, Japan, North America, Mexico and Australia/New Zealand as well as networks of producer organisations from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. 

The Fairtrade Foundation is a registered charity (no. 1043886). It is also a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales (no. 2733136).



Our vision

Our vision is of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade structures and practices so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood and develop their full potential.

To achieve this vision, Fairtrade seeks to transform trading structures and practices in favour of the poor and disadvantaged. By facilitating trading partnerships based on equity and transparency, Fairtrade contributes to sustainable development for marginalised producers, workers and their communities. Through demonstration of alternatives to conventional trade and other forms of advocacy, the Fairtrade movement empowers citizens to campaign for an international trade system based on justice and fairness. 

Our mission

The Foundation’s mission is to work with businesses, community groups and individuals to improve the trading position of producer organisations in the South and to deliver sustainable livelihoods for farmers, workers and their communities by –

  • being a passionate and ambitious development organisation committed to tackling poverty and injustice through trade
  • using certification and product labelling, through the FAIRTRADE Mark, as a tool for our development goals
  • bringing together producers and consumers in a citizens’ movement for change
  • being recognised as the UK’s leading authority on Fairtrade

What we do

Our four key areas of activity are:

  • Providing an independent certification of the trade chain, licensing use of the FAIRTRADE Mark as a consumer guarantee on products
  • Facilitating the market to grow demand for Fairtrade and enable producers to sell to traders and retailers
  • Working with our partners to support producer organisations and their networks
  • Raising public awareness of the need for Fairtrade and the importance of the FAIRTRADE Mark

The Foundation works to the definition of Fair Trade agreed by FINE, a working group of the four international Fair Trade networks (Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International, International Fair Trade Association, Network of European World Shops and the European Fair Trade Association): 

Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalised producers and workers – especially in the South.

Read Unlocking the Power of the Many download the PDF / read here the interactive version the Fairtrade Foundation’s Strategy for 2013 to 2015, which sets out our ambition to deliver greater impact for producers, and engage even more of the UK public in shopping and campaigning for a better deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.





The Fairtrade Foundation employs just over 100 people, working in the following teams:

Executive Office: The Executive Office consists of the Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer, Head of Directorate and a PA to the Directors.  Their primary purpose is to lead and develop the Fairtrade Foundation’s work towards achieving its mission and vision, through leadership, strategic development, governance, external relations, public representation, staff management and strategic resource planning.

Fundraising: The Fundraising team, forms part of the Executive Directorate and is responsible for securing around 20% of the income to the Fairtrade Foundation. To date, this income has come primarily from statutory sources, trusts and foundations.   The Fundraising team are responsible for developing new streams of income to meet the fundraised target as the profile of our current fundraised income changes over the next few years.   

Human Resources: HR are responsible for the development and delivery of a People Strategy, which help form a high-performing and collaborative learning organisation.  The 5 goals within the People Strategy to 2015 are: to build a learning organisation culture through a structured process for capturing & sharing knowledge; to invest in staff and the working environment to achieve high levels of engagement, staff & volunteer satisfaction & empowerment; to unlock the power of a talented workforce, providing the chance to develop & fulfil potential; to continue to build a high performance culture, with excellent leadership & management of people, underpinned by our competencies & values & embracing diversity; and to champion international collaboration & drive delivery through increased joint-working with international partners.

Finance & IT: The Finance and IT directorate provide wide-ranging support to the organisation.  The Finance team is responsible for managing the Foundation’s finances including invoicing, payments, management accounting and other financial reporting.  Information Technology (IT) is responsible for the technology infrastructure of the organisation, including providing technical and functional support for a number of internal database and Business Intelligence systems, as well as Facilities Management.

Commercial Relations: 
Covering food and non-food products the Commercial Relations Directorate is responsible for getting businesses engaged with Fairtrade. They work with them to increase sales of Fairtrade certified products, with integrity. They do this through encouraging a deeper commitment to the products already available, making sure consumers see the FAIRTRADE Mark and by introducing new product areas.

Public Engagement: The Public Engagement Directorate inspires and enables public supporters of Fairtrade to take action, either individually or in their communities. The Director leads three teams: Campaigning, Marketing and Creative Services. These teams work together on everything to do with our supporters, from research and insight, campaigning, to creative, marketing and events. We aim to make public support for Fairtrade as strong and wide ranging as we can.

Product Integrity: The FAIRTRADE Mark is a registered certification mark that we license to companies to use on products which comply with international Fairtrade standards and contractual requirements. The Product Integrity Directorate makes sure companies comply by setting up a licence agreement with each one, specifying the product(s) which may carry the Mark, approving every separate use of the Mark and text referring to Fairtrade, and auditing each licensee’s Fairtrade activities.

Policy & Public Affairs: The Policy and Public Affairs Directorate leads the Fairtrade Foundation’s policy, research, impact assessment (as part of Fairtrade’s global policy), learning and advocacy priorities, and for managing relationships with key decision makers and opinion formers including government, media, NGOs and institutions. We drive the organisation’s thought leadership, organisational positioning and corporate communications agenda.

Fairtrade Foundation Senior Management Team;


  • Chief Executive: Michael Gidney 

  • Chief Operating Officer: Tim Gutteridge 
  • Director of Product Integrity: David Meller 
  • Director of Commercial Relations: Ashish Deo
  • Director of Policy and Public Affairs: Barbara Crowther 
  • Director of Public Engagement: Cheryl McGechie 
  • Director of Human Resources: Martyn Dicker
  • Director of Finance and IT: John Rew

Fairtrade Foundation charity shareholders

Fairtrade Foundation Board members

  • Chair: Michael Jary 
  • Vice Chair: Melissa Duncan
  • Treasurer: Patricia Alexander (Managing Director of Shared Interest)

  • Arun Ambatipudi (Chetna Organic Farmers Association, India)
  • Simon Maxwell (Senior Research Associate, former Director of ODI)  
  • Chief Adam Tampuri (Chair Fairtrade Africa)
  • Barney Tallack (Director of Strategy, Oxfam International)
  • Rebecca Rowland (Strategy Consultant)
  • Nabillai Suma (Cocoa Market Specialist)


Certification Committee Members

This committee reviews all audit reports for Fairtrade Foundation licensees, and advises on certification policies and implementation.

  • Chair: Nabs Suma (Chief Executive, FairOrganic Solutions) 
  • Hannah Brooke (Head of Certification, Soil Association)
  • Simon Wright (Director, Organic and Fairplus)