Fairtrade cotton is cotton that has been certified through a fairtrade organization that attempts to ensure that cotton producers receive a fair price for their crop. Cotton is one of several products that are subject to fair trade arrangements designed to connect farmers with customers who make purchase decisions with social considerations in mind. Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, or FLO, is the largest fair trade certification organization for cotton, serving as an umbrella group for several smaller organizations.

Why Fairtrade Cotton?

Fairtrade-certified cotton farmers get a guaranteed price for their crop. This price never falls below the amount it costs them to grow the cotton, which means they can plan to improve the lives of their families and develop their communities. Fairtrade cotton is produced without using the most harmful pesticides, child labour or forced labour. It gives workers in cotton fields fairer wages and working conditions.

Benefits of Fairtrade for producers

Since the introduction of the first Fairtrade Minimum Prices for cotton in 2004, Fairtrade has demonstrated it can substantially improve the lives of cotton producing communities. By selling to the Fairtrade market, cotton farmers have the security that they will receive a Minimum Price which aims to cover their average costs of sustainable production. They also receive a Fairtrade Premium which allows them to invest in community projects, such as schools, roads or health care facilities.

Fairtrade Standards for cotton

Among other things Fairtrade Standards in cotton ensure the following: The Fairtrade Minimum Prices for cotton are set at different levels depending on the producing region. The Minimum Prices always cover the costs of sustainable production. Furthermore, if the market price is higher than the Fairtrade Minimum Price, the market price applies.

Fairtrade Minimum Prices for organic cotton are set 20 percent higher than the Fairtrade conventional Minimum Prices.