Photo: David Macharia

This year it is 20 years since the first Fairtrade-certified coffee went on sale in Norway. Since then Norwegians have drunk over a billion cups of Fairtrade coffee. This has contributed to a higher and more stable income for coffee farmers in Guatamana, Colombia and Etiopia.

Developing professional business partners in poor countries

Through the Fairtrade-certified cooperatives, the farmers have become professional businesses and accomplished cultivators that produce more effectively and take the environment into account more. The farmers have invested Fairtrade income into healthcare, education and pension systems. All of this makes a big difference for each and every family and potentially for an entire society in a few generations.

Today it is not just coffee that is marked as Fairtrade. Since the beginning in Norway 20 years ago, over 175 million Fairtrade bananas, 140 million flowers and a lot of products like tea, chocolate, sugar, juice and ice cream. Thanks to Norwegian brands, shops, purchasers, municipaIities and not in the least consumers, Norwegian trade has been part of building a more sustainable society and systems for humans and the environment.

Encourages ethical trade

Fairtrade Norway does not buy or sell any products, but encourages and assists suppliers in Norway to offer more Fairtrade certified products to the Norwegian markett. In addition to this they inform the Norwegian consumer and purchasers about what Fairtrade is and the values being supported when a Fairtrade item is bought.

Today over 80 percent of Norwegian consumers recognise the Fairtrade label, and consistently more are concerned about where what they buy comes from and what conditions they are produced in.

In 1997 Fairtrade Norway (Then Max Havelaar) was founded by 12 Norwegian organisations: Det Kgl. Selskap for Norges Vel, Framtiden i våre hender, Kirkens Nødhjelp, Handel og Kontor, Norges Bondelag, Redd Barna, Kirkerådet, WWF, Norsk Folkehjelp, Frikirkens Globale Informasjon, Alternativ Handel and Norsk Næring- og Nytelsesarbeiderforbund (NNN).

Read more about Fairtrade and their work here