With an estimated 300 million people working in the cotton sector worldwide, many farmers and workers live below the poverty line. In fact, the poorest among them are over 40 million small-scale farmers who are responsible for producing over 60% of the world’s cotton. Competition with large-scale cotton producers leaves most small cotton farmers faced with unfair pricing for their goods. Add in the pressures of changing climates, food price inflation, food insecurity, cotton prices and high-interest loans, and most farmers are left with no power over their livelihood and sometimes no hope to continue farming.
Fairtrade was created to give fair pricing and premiums to these farmers in order to provide more stable incomes and give the promise of sustainability year after year. Fairtrade encourages sustainable cotton production through establishing economic, social and environmental standards that protect farmers, reinvest in farming communities and support local education for farmers.