Fairtrade International gains ‘superbrand’ status recognising its human rights work

A major boost to Fairtrade Foundation has been delivered in gaining ‘Superbrand’ status for its public perception in the UK, including work supporting key communities in cocoa and wider agricultural supply chains, writes Neill Barston.

The UK arm of the global Fairtrade movement has been especially active in championing human rights, and recently called on international leaders at the COP27 event in Egypt to offer urgent, greater support for the world’s smallholder farmers as part of tackling the climate crisis.

Consequently, the body has gained recognition from Superbrands, the world’s largest independent arbiter of branding, this week announced the recipients of this status, awarded annually in respect of organisations’ ‘quality, reliability and distinction’.

As part of the process, Fairtrade Foundation received the accolade after being selected by business professionals and an independent Expert Council, who evaluated more than 1,500 brands across different sectors. The winners were recognised at a launch event hosted by Superbrands on 26 January.

A pioneer of ethical labelling, Fairtrade remains a leading and trustworthy champion for social and climate justice, even as ethical certification labels proliferate the market. New consumer research, conducted by Kantar in late 2022, shows that 9 in 10 UK consumers are aware of the Fairtrade Mark (higher than all other ethical labels), while 8 in 10 consumers trust it.

Nilufar Verjee, Director of Public Engagement at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have received 2022/2023 Superbrand status: this is a powerful benchmark of Fairtrade Foundation’s value in the UK and the depth of our public support. After nearly three decades of fighting for trade justice, we’re very proud that our brand continues to go from strength to strength.

“However, Fairtrade is more than just a label or a brand: we are an international movement with deep roots in advocacy and campaigning, and deep roots in farming communities worldwide. In the UK, we aim to use our platform to amplify the voices of farmers and workers, supporting them to protect their rights, land, health and future livelihoods. So this accolade from Superbrands is truly a testament to the communities behind our Fairtrade products, from cocoa to cotton, and to the UK shoppers committed to buying them.

“The award is equally a tribute to our grassroots campaigners in the UK. There is a vibrant community of passionate Fairtrade supporters within schools, universities, workplaces, towns, cities and places of worship nationwide, who are at heart of the Fairtrade movement. The same goes for the hundreds of businesses who continue to choose us as their sustainability partner and display our FAIRTRADE Mark proudly on their much-loved products,” adding the movement’s hopes that its new status will help businesses and retailers in the UK further understand its operations.

Voters in the Superbrands awards judged contenders against three factors. Firstly quality: does the brand provide quality products and services? Secondly, reliability: can the brand be trusted to deliver consistently? Thirdly, distinction: is it well known in its sector and suitably different from its rivals?


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