Fairtrade fortnight: The role of air cargo in fairer trade

Fairtrade Fortnight has arrived.

Between February 26 and March 11, UK-based campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship are shining a light on the committed farmers and agricultural workers that grow the delicious fruit, coffee, cocoa and much more that originates in developing countries where trade laws may not protect all agricultural workers.

Across the two weeks, schools, restaurants, cafés and bars are invited to use and boost the visibility of Fairtrade products, holding awareness-raising breakfasts, coffee breaks and bake-offs to create a buzz around the movement. This shouldn’t be too hard – some of our favourite snacks are Fairtrade, from Green and Blacks chocolate, Clipper tea to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

One of the workers that the Fairtrade Foundation interviewed for this year’s campaign was Marcial Quintero, a member of a banana cooperative in Panama. Marcial says that before joining Fairtrade, workers saw no benefits from their work – no development or profit. “For hundreds of years, we were taught to serve, to be workers. Now with Fairtrade, we are entrepreneurs,” he told the Foundation.

Campaigns like Fairtrade Fortnight are changing this behaviour, and the way that we consumers think about food, where it comes from, and how our choices affect the lives of agricultural workers around the world.


For farmers, air cargo plays a crucial role in getting produce to market. Boat is often not an option – fruit shipped from Central America could take up to 11 days to reach the UK. By air, the products can be in the destination within a day of being picked and packaged.

Our Constant Fresh product gives our freight forwarders and their clients the flexibility to airlift fresh fruit and vegetables in a temperature controlled environment that is monitored throughout the flight. Our dedicated perishable handling facilities in Madrid and London give us greater control still, and we ensure chilling is maintained at each point of transfer, with dedicated refrigerated trucks.

We ship everything from blueberries, strawberries and avocados to fresh hake, salmon and seeds from as far flung as South Africa, to Malaysia, Argentina and Mexico – our network gives us the reach to get much of our clients’ produce to where it needs to go. You can’t say fairer than that.