Gender equality

Around 60-80 percent of the world’s food is grown by women. Yet they often don’t own the land and see little of the profit made from it. Fairtrade works to address this gender gap.

How Fairtrade addresses gender equality

Fairtrade Standards are designed to prevent gender inequality, increase female participation and empower more women and girls to access the benefits of Fairtrade.

Requirements for producer organisations include:

  • No discrimination on the basis of gender or marital status
  • Zero tolerance of behaviour that is sexually intimidating, abusive or exploitative
  • No testing for pregnancy when recruiting workers
  • Programmes to support disadvantaged and minority groups, such as women
  • Developing a gender policy, over time

Fairtrade Women's School of Leadership in Timor Leste


The Invisible Women Behind our Chocolate Learn More

Beyond the standards

We are also working beyond the Standards to increase women’s role in Fairtrade producer organisations and to ensure they receive equal benefits.

  • Producer networks are rolling out women’s schools of leadership, enabling women to learn business, negotiation and finance skills. Many of these women go on to take on leadership and committee positions within their cooperatives and communities.
  • Many Fairtrade Premium projects directly benefit women, enabling changes to decision making and governance structures in certified producer organisations, and improving economic opportunities. For example, the Del Campo nut cooperative in Nicaragua uses their Fairtrade Premium to support women’s emerging businesses.
  • Many producer organisations are undertaking gender analyses of their organizations and piloting new gender equality programmes, gender committees and policies.

Through advocacy work and collaboration with trade unions and NGOs we are pushing for gender equality and interventions to enhance women’s well-being and empowerment.

If a woman is empowered, then the house will also be empowered, economically and socially.

Elizabeth — Kabngetuny Coffee Cooperative, Kenya

How can I support Fairtrade’s gender equality work?

You have the power to change the world every day by choosing to buy products – such as coffee, chocolate and tea – with the Fairtrade Mark. Look for the Fairtrade logo when you shop, and ensure better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in developing countries. Your choices can empower farmers to participate as equals, control their futures, and invest in their communities.


Join our community

Connect with Fairtrade by following us on social media and signing up to our newsletter.

Sign Up