We were lucky enough to interview Katie Franks as part of our Fairtrade fortnight programme of events and activities. Katie is a Commercial Development Officer for the Fairtrade foundation and she talks us through who the Fairtrade foundation are, their aims, the challenges of working to Fairtrade standards and what is coming up in the future. A sample of the questions are below, to read the whole interview view our Katie Franks Interview PDF.
For those who aren’t fully in the know, can you tell us about the Fairtrade Foundation? What are their aims and what are they doing to try to create better working conditions for Fairtrade farmers?
Fairtrade aims to improve the situation of farmers and workers at the bottom of supply chains who are at the sharp end of exploitation and injustice in international trade. Many producers in the developing world get their income from crops which are commonly used for cosmetics and/or food products, however in the conventional market they often have to accept prices below their costs of production and so do not have the ability to meet their families’ most basic needs.
Fairtrade is helping to turn this situation on its head through helping to develop fair trade for producers by giving them security through a minimum price and additional premium, where consumers can be assured purchases are benefitting producers by looking for the Fairtrade Mark. This year our campaign ‘Take a Step for Fairtrade’ will encourage everyone up and down the UK to take a step, such as try a Fairtrade certified beauty product, in order to raise awareness of these producers.
What do Fairtrade beauty standards involve?
Our rules state that for a product to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark, all ingredients that can be certified Fairtrade, must be sourced from Fairtrade certified producers under Fairtrade terms.
Fairtrade’s role is to ensure that producers’ benefits and interests are at the centre of the business relationship and product plan, where long term commitment from licensees is established.
Licensees therefore have to proactively action a plan with producers to create added value and extra benefit back to producers. Examples of these have been anything from extra donations,
Why do non-Fairtrade cosmetics dominate the market?
Many companies have spent many years in building up their relationships with their suppliers for the raw materials, or not even realise that they can substitute some of their man-made materials for natural materials. They have also spent lots on marketing their products and building up their market of followers, and so it takes time to change a formulation or supply chain.
Part of my role is to have conversations and work closely with these companies so that they understand of the benefits of working with Fairtrade certified producers and the difference that they can make. However consumer demand also plays a key role in this, where our campaigners and consumers are key to driving sales and petitioning companies to get more involved and change their sourcing habits.
What is your favourite Fairtrade product?
Outside of the Cosmetic category my favourite Fairtrade product are Tropical Wholefoods Organic Dried Mangos – yum yum!
To read the whole article visit http://www.essential-care.co.uk/media/pdfs/Katie-Franks-Essential-Care-Blog.pdf
To learn more about Fairtrade Fortnight, visit http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/
To shop our range of Fairtrade lipsticks visit http://www.essential-care.co.uk/organic-makeup/organic-lipstick.html