Fairtrade Max Havelaar: Supporting producers in the south

We have been working closely with Max Havelaar to expand the Fairtrade range since 1992. Fairtrade greatly improves and stabilizes the income of small-scale farmers and workers. Furthermore, they can use the Fairtrade premium to invest in their future development.

We are firmly committed to fair trade and are working to switch all the raw materials from developing and emerging countries in our own label brands to Fairtrade Max Havelaar. On the one hand, we will achieve this by switching entire ranges such as fruit juices, Asian rice varieties or chocolate bars to Fairtrade Max Havelaar. When Fairtrade certification is not possible owing, for example to the recipe, we are the first Swiss retailer to use the Fairtrade Cocoa sourcing program.

Fairtrade premium in excess of USD 4.6 million

Around 1.6 million small-scale farmers and workers benefit from the sale of our 730+ products that bear the Fairtrade Max Havelaar quality seal. The cumulative Fairtrade premium is growing steadily and now totals over 4.6 million dollars a year. Coop has thus contributed a total of 44.9 million dollars to Fairtrade premiums since 1992. The approach adopted by Fairtrade Max Havelaar, which we have supported for over 25 years, is based in part on these four elements:

    • Self-determination and assumption of responsibility: thanks to co-determination in democratically organized cooperatives and workers' committees.
    • Higher, more stable incomes: thanks in part to the minimum price.
    • Investments in the future thanks to the Fairtrade premium: this enables farmers and workers to invest in, for example, the creation and expansion of local infrastructure, safety or health projects, education and training as well as quality improvements.
    • Long-term trade relations: firm, trust-based partnerships assure the farmers of long-term, stable sales of their goods.
    Picture: Remo Nägeli
    Picture: Remo Nägeli
    Picture: Remo Nägeli
    Picture: Remo Nägeli
    Picture: Remo Nägeli
    Picture: Remo Nägeli
    Picture: Remo Nägeli

We too benefit greatly from these long-term trade relations, as they enable quality improvements to be achieved with greater efficiency and on a more lasting basis. Two pioneering Fairtrade projects that we have implemented with partners are:

We are the first Swiss company to gradually introduce the expanded Fairtrade labels as of May 2018. The “Fairtrade Sourced Ingredient” product label means that individual ingredients grown and traded in line with fair trade principles can also be Fairtrade-certified. Thanks to these Fairtrade ingredients, farmers and workers in the southern regions can generate higher sales at Fairtrade conditions, while consumers benefit from a broader Fairtrade range. The stringent Fairtrade standards remain unchanged.

More on the Fairtrade Max Havelaar Foundation (Switzerland)

Principles and topics