At Ben & Jerry's, we take fairness seriously. Whether it's how we treat our employees, give back to our community, or dream up new flavors for our customers, fairness factors into all that we do. That's why we want to make sure that our farmers get a fair deal too. We support Fairtrade, a worldwide movement working to ensure that smallholder farmers in developing nations can make it in the ultra-competitive global marketplace. We source five core ingredients on Fairtrade terms: Sugar, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, and bananas.
Back in 2005, we were the first ice cream maker in the world to use Fairtrade Certified ingredients. And in 2010, we decided to commit fully to the cause—across all our flavors and all the countries where our ice cream is sold. We made sure that every possible ingredient was Fairtrade Certified by 2011 in Europe, and did the same in the United States by 2014.
The trend worldwide in agriculture is all about getting bigger, a lot bigger. Fair trade is important because it assures a fair price for small-scale farmers' products—in the face of growth that could easily push them out of the market. That's great news for them, their families and their communities. But it's also great for us (and for you), because we get to use their amazing ingredients in our ice cream.
But there's more to the fair trade story. Linked prosperity, the idea that those who are successful should work to improve the world around them, is one of Ben & Jerry's founding principles. Fair trade puts this idea into action. All farmers in the Fairtrade system agree to use environmentally friendly farming practices, implement fair labor standards and invest in their communities. The Fairtrade social premium, an additional amount of money paid on top of the fair price that farmers receive, helps make those investments happen.
To build on the impact of our Fairtrade sourcing, we aim to support and strengthen smallholder producers through a program we call the Producer Development Initiative (PDI). The PDI is a portfolio of specific programs designed to enable smallholder producers to achieve dignified livelihoods.
There are three primary objectives of the PDI program:
The PDI programs are run by Fairtrade.
Doesn't knowing that all the delectable stuff that goes into our flavors is Fairtrade Certified make Ben & Jerry’s taste all the sweeter? Every time you pick up a product with the FAIRTRADE Mark (the green and blue symbol you see on each of our pints), you're helping small-scale farmers and their communities survive and succeed.