Fairtrade operates in some of the most challenging supply chains globally, where incomes are often low and working conditions difficult. 

Fairtrade and Waitrose believe farmers and workers in supply chains deserve to earn a fair price for their work and benefit from good working conditions. Fairtrade certification supports this ambition by encouraging better production methods, enabling democratic participation, ensuring fair pricing and improved working conditions and additional community investment through the Fairtrade Premium.

Waitrose was one of the first supermarkets to stock Fairtrade products and now offers the largest range of Fairtrade products of any high street supermarket in the UK. Many of our best loved Fairtrade categories such as tea, coffee, and cocoa, are produced by smallholders or small-scale farmers. Smallholders are often particularly vulnerable to market price fluctuations and, increasingly, to the impacts of climate change. As such they particularly need support to ensure the resilience of their businesses in the future.

As part of certification, farmers in the Fairtrade system develop skills to better manage their crop, increase output, and develop their business. However, there is more to be done; that’s why we are supporting additional programme work with Fairtrade to address challenges faced by smallholders. Find out more about Waitrose’s relationship with Fairtrade here.


Since 2017 Waitrose & Partners have sourced all their own brand black tea on Fairtrade terms and we are committed to increasing the transparency of our supply chains. We recognise the particular challenges within the tea industry and continue to work in partnership with our supplier and Fairtrade to do what we can to improve the livelihoods of workers. We believe that Fairtrade’s minimum price and additional Fairtrade Premium are an important step in improving conditions and standards within the tea industry. More information on Fairtrade’s work in tea can be found on their website

A full list of our sourcing countries can be found on our tea sourcing list.



Waitrose worked with Fairtrade to establish the first Fairtrade coffee co-operative in Java, investing in the group to support them to achieve certification and bring to market the first ever Fairtrade Java Coffee in 2019. Now 150 small scale farmers are benefiting from Fairtrade’s minimum price, alongside additional premium investment to support their communities. Find out more about the project here.