What is Fairtrade?

A global movement, its aim is to secure better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. It has been represented in the UK for over 25 years by the Fairtrade Foundation.

When something is certified as Fairtrade, it means the producer has been paid a sustainable price that covers cost of production and better working conditions. It also means they receive the Fairtrade Premium, an extra sum to invest in their communities and improve quality of lives.

By making trade fair, Fairtrade makes a difference to the lives of the people who grow the things we love.

Shop Waitrose Fairtrade certified groceries

Our Fairtrade journey

How we support Fairtrade

Waitrose believes that farmers and workers in our supply chain deserve to earn a fair price for their work.

We sell over 200 Fairtrade products, the largest range of any UK retailer, and also offer the largest range of own-label Fairtrade goods.

In 2007, we became the first UK supermarket to sell loose Fairtrade bananas. What’s more, we’ve converted many of our best-loved ranges to Fairtrade including all our tea, block chocolate, cafe coffees and speciality sugars. And in 2019 we became the first European retailer to sell Fairtrade Java coffee with our No.1 roast from the Indonesian island. 

We source 100% Fairtrade-certified black tea, sugar, block chocolate and cocoa in our confectionery in our own label food, as well as stocking brands such as Divine, CafeDirect and Ben & Jerry's.


Fairtrade milestones at Waitrose



The first UK supermarket to sell Fairtrade bananas


All bananas sold are Fairtrade-certified


Own-label sugar becomes 100% Fairtrade


Black tea follows four years later



First European retailer to sell Fairtrade coffee from Java, Indonesia


All own-label confectionery is Fairtrade-certified 


As well as all coffee in the No.1 range and prepared coffee in all John Lewis and Waitrose cafes


What is the Fairtrade Premium?

It’s a fixed sum paid on top of the minimum fair price for the goods provided, usually directly into a communal fund used for community projects such as better transport facilities, machinery upgrades, health facilities and workplace training.

The Waitrose commitment to Fairtrade tea, coffee, bananas and sugar, generates an estimated £2.4 million annually in Fairtrade Premiums.



Case study: A cup of Java

We became the first European retailer to sell Fairtrade Java coffee from the Indonesian island in 2019.

Being Fairtrade means more than 150 workers in the Kayumas region of Java are paid a fair price for their coffee, and the money earned from UK sales will pay for new offices, medical facilities, better road access between farms and improved sanitation.


“Indonesia is one of the largest
producers of coffee in the world
and Java will be a familiar term to
coffee drinkers, but this is the first
Fairtrade Java available to buy on
a supermarket shelf in Europe. It’s
incredibly exciting. Fairtrade is so
important because it’s assurance that
we’re doing the right thing for the
people and the planet. Farmers have
managed  to transform their
communities and take responsibility
for their own livelihoods.”


Polly Astbury
Waitrose coffee buyer