Fairtrade celebrates brands joining its movement, including Russell Stover chocolates

Fairtrade America has celebrated a number of key brands becoming partners in recent months, including Hu Kitchen snacks, Russell Stover chocolates, and the Grace Farm Foods group, reports Neill Barston.

Other notable names operating in the region to join the organisation’s ethical trading movement, include organic puddings business noops, upcycled food business Renewal Mill, gourmet ingredients firm Rodelle Kitchen and Dukkan Foods, offering authentic Middle Eastern treats.

By carrying the Fairtrade label, these brands are informing consumers they are committed to fairer trading conditions by producing their goods in compliance with Fairtrade’s rigorous social, economic and environmental standards designed to support secure livelihoods for small-holder farmers and workers around the world.

According to its biennial Fairtrade Consumer Insights report conducted by GlobeScan, nearly 80% of US shoppers aware of Fairtrade would look at a brand that carried its certification label more favorably, and 73% of Fairtrade shoppers are willing to pay more for a product to ensure producers are paid a fair price.

Additionally, 77% of Fairtrade shoppers say the Fairtrade Mark makes it easy to decide if a product is ethically and responsibly produced. This reinforces a growing consumer demand for transparency, demonstrable fair wages, and environmental protection in sourcing and production.

Fairtrade’s newest brand partners are now part of an ecosystem that help farmers and workers get a fair deal, support themselves and their families and farm sustainably in the face of climate change challenges. New Fairtrade certified brands include:

Hu Kitchen: Committed to UltraSimple, healthy ingredients, Hu Kitchen, is one of the fastest-growing snack companies in the US, creating delicious paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free treats, now with Fairtrade certified ingredients in their Chocolate Bars and Baking Gems.

Russell Stover Chocolates (main image): The 98-year-old confectionery company known for its gifting chocolate launched Joy Bites this summer – its first-ever collection of no-sugar-added chocolate bars. The new line of five bars is carefully crafted with Fairtrade certified cocoa and features breakable bites in resealable packaging that’s 100% recyclable with FSC-certified outer sleeves; reinforcing the company’s part of a much larger sustainability vision that counts on so many to be successful.

Grace Farms Foods: Grace Farms was created and is operated by Grace Farms Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to ending forced labor. Announced in November, the organisation introduced the first-ever Fairtrade certified chocolate chip cookie in the US, sourcing and certifying the cocoa, sugar and vanilla from Fairtrade producers.

The cookies were carefully crafted through a collaboration with celebrity chef and “Chopped” champion Silvia Baldini, with the intention to demonstrate fair and just supply chains are possible.

Dukkan Foods: Dukkan brings the nostalgic corner store spirit to every corner of the world with authentic and thoughtfully-made products that celebrate its Middle Eastern roots. Recently, Dukkan launched the first-ever tahini made with Fairtrade certified sesame seeds in the US. The tahini is also fully organic, and the sesame seeds are sourced from the south of Egypt and Sudan.

“It is such an honour to partner with our Fairtrade certified brands and jointly raise the voices of the 1.8 million farmers and workers behind products we buy every day,” said Peg Willingham, Executive Director, Fairtrade America.

“It’s imperative we work together to promote fairer trading conditions, and in turn combat poverty, child labor, gender inequality and climate change. When consumers choose products from our brand partners, they are part of a community standing up for justice and for a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

“We are proud to now join the Fairtrade movement and do our part to help ensure all farmers can enjoy secure and sustainable livelihoods,” said Adam Thatcher, Co-Founder of Grace Farms Foods. “By working with Fairtrade, we are providing consumers with an easy-to-recognise way to know that our products are made with care for people at the centre.”

The Fairtrade Mark remains the most recognised ethical label in the world. Fairtrade International, was again considered the gold standard of fair trade certifications in an analysis conducted by Fair World Project, an independent advocacy group promoting fair trade for small-scale producers and labor justice for workers around the world.

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