Fairtrade Original in 1 minute

Where flavour begins

Flavour begins at the source. There, where seeds are planted. Where rice fields are fed by tropical rains and pineapples ripen under the sun. Flavour begins with our coffee farmers, who pick only mature, deep-red berries. It begint with our spice famers, who skilfully select ripe chili peppers. To best preserve the original flavours, we strive to prepare and pack our products locally. That makes Fairtrade Original.  


Fairtrade Original is a food brand on a mission: we make fair food and drinks available for everyone by developing local supply chains. As part of that mission, we now have over 100 products for sale in supermarkets. Since 1959, we have been at the origin of flavour, working hard to establish fair and sustainable supply chains. We do this in close cooperation with our partners in Asia, Africa and Latin-America. All profits are reinvested in projects that help accomplish the Fairtrade Original mission. 

Our history

Original since 1959


An enthusiastic start

Young and idealistic Enny Wolak wants to help those less fortunate than herself. She raises money to feed malnourished children on Sicily. Together with Paul Meijs (on the right), Wolak sets up an organization for underdeveloped areas, SOS: Komitee Steun Onderontwikkelde Streken (SOS: Committee Support Underdeveloped Regions).
Fairtrade Original - At the beginning with Enny Wolak and Paul Meijs

First fair coffee

Paul Meijs is a talented organizer as well as a visionary with unconventional views. His motto: ‘It is better to trade fairly than to gift money’. He audaciously decides to put this vision into practice by purchasing 50 tons of what he deemed ‘fair’ coffee without having a buyer lined up. It proves to be the starting point of a global movement.
Paul Meijs with fair coffee

The beginning of the Fairtrade mark

The Dutch Max Havelaar Foundation launches the first ever Fairtrade certification! The certification is a visual guarantee for consumers, assuring them that farmers and producers receive a fair price for their product or labour. Most of the items in our range still carry the Fairtrade mark today.
Quality mark Max Havelaar

Fair Trade

The Fairtrade certification was initially set up for the coffee industry, but why stop there? In 1994, we open shops in the Netherlands to sell Fairtrade-certified tea, honey, chocolate, clothing and even sustainable footballs. We decide to call our organization Fair Trade; a brand-new concept at the time.
Fairtrade shop

On to the supermarket!

We want as many consumers as possible buying Fairtrade products and so, we decide to make our products available at major retailers in the Netherlands. We rename the brand Fairtrade Original and launch our very own product range. From 2006 onward, Dutch supermarket chains Albert Heijn and Super de Boer stock Fairtrade Original products. Since then, our initial range of 15 products has increased dramatically and is available at all large supermarket chains in the Netherlands.
Fairtrade Original hagelslag in the supermarket

1.6 million cans of coconut milk

The fact that more and more people choose Fairtrade Original and appreciate the quality of the products is evident from the sales figures. We sell more than 1,600,000 cans of Coconut Milk 400 ML in 2016. A record!

Together? Really together!

Our Asian product line has been around for five years. A success of our people here and our people there! Because it is the recipes of the farmers who inspire us. The Thai farmers visit the Netherlands and we organize the very first Fairtrade Original food fair. We are also going international: in November we will start selling part of our range in the German supermarket Rewe Rahmati in Cologne.
Khun Orapin and Khun Orachan in the Netherlands

For people. Not for profit.

Our profit is a better life for the people we work with. So our people there are increasingly packaging and preparing the products locally. You can taste their love and attention in quality. To demonstrate this, we are launching a new corporate identity and packaging with a message: For people. Not for profit.
Development Manager Martin in Indonesia

Where flavour begins

In 2019 we will further improve our positioning and we will change our pay off to 'Where flavour begins'. Flavour begins at the origin. Where the seed goes into the ground. Where tropical rain showers flood the rice fields. Where the sun ripens the pineapples. Since 1959, Fairtrade Original comes where taste starts. All ingredients are prepared and packaged as directly as possible, so that the original taste is preserved in your kitchen. That makes Fairtrade Original.
Tomato farmer in Rabat

More impact

To increase sales and amplify our mission, we are scaling up our international efforts in 2020. Our German team focuses on expansion into Switzerland and Austria and in the second quarter of 2020 the first Fairtrade Original products will be available in Carrefour and E-Leclerc hypermarkets in France.
Here you can buy Fairtrade Original products
Our approach

Original chain

Keeping up with Fairtrade Original

Our annual reports


Annual Report

We have nothing but praise for the way farmers and manufacturers in faraway locales as well as our teams in the Netherlands and Germany have dealt with the challenges posed to them by the pandemic. Thanks to the support of our customers, Fairtrade Original not only stayed in business, but even managed to realise growth of 6 percent! This growth enables us to help farmers earn a living income,
Have a look at our newest annual report

Annual Report

Fairtrade Original, like the rest of the world, looks back on an eventful 2020. Nothing went as expected and it will go down in history as the year in which the world was held prisoner by COVID-19. Despite the difficult time for the Fairtrade Original team here and especially for our local farmers' cooperatives and processors, we have also been able to take great steps. You can read all about it in our annual report.
Take a look at our latest annual report

Annual report

In 2019 we introduced Young Jackfruit (the first in the Dutch retail market!), our Arabic products and our direct trade Community Coffee. With this we strengthen our position as an innovative food brand and expert on market developments. Besides this we celebrated our 60th birthday.
Check out our full annual report

Annual report

In our newest annual report we look back: 2018 was quite a dynamic year for Fairtrade Original. We have modernized our entire brand image, we changed our name (a little bit) and all our products have a new look as well. In addition in looking back, we also offer a sneak peek at 2019!
Go directly to our annual report

Annual report

This year our annual report is short and sweet, but of course full of easy agenda items voor 2017, so you'll be up to date in a glance. When you read this, our new logo and our new packaging, for which we've made preparations in 2017, will be fully visible in the supermarkets. With our new brand image we aim to appeal to a larger group of consumers. After all, more sales means more impact for our partners back in the chain!
Read our full annual report
Khun Orapin with chillies

Annual report

Our ambition is to realize more and more local chains. In addition, we also want to stimulate other brands and the trade to give substance to fair trade. With the Original Chain, we offer a model with which prosperity can be distributed more fairly throughout the world. Read more about this in our latest annual report.
Have a look at our annual report

Our people

As a team, we add flavour to Fairtrade Original.

Food for thought

Fairtrade Original is a brand with its own products. There are multiple organizations where ‘Fairtrade’ appears in the name: Fairtrade Original and Fairtrade International. We are both 100% committed to fair trade with small farmers in developing countries on a not-for-profit basis. However, we both play a different role. Fairtrade Original develops and sells products. It is a food brand. Fairtrade International certifies products that meet the international Fairtrade conditions.