Locally produced and ethically traded Fairtrade-certified products on the shelves of 11 SPAR supermarket outlets in Sri Lanka :

An initiative by Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in partnership with FT NAPP and Fairtrade Italy.


Good news for Sri Lankan consumers!

Now Fairtrade-certified spices and other products can be found at the local Sri Lankan supermarket retail chains. The initiative has been a part of a 03-year long process of intense marketing, pre, and post-audit, labeling, and licensing support for the new and existing Fairtrade producer organisations in the country.

The ‘SRI PROM’ project was launched and financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in partnership with Fairtrade Network of Asia and Pacific Producers (NAPP), Fairtrade Italy, and other Italian partners with a prime focus to contribute to the social and economic strengthening of rural Sri Lanka, through the development of higher profitable, eco-sustainable supply chains for small farmers.

Ever since it has been a wonderful journey for Fairtrade Network in Sri Lanka and Fairtrade Italy in providing technical and organizational support to the supply chains of spices starting right from production, processing, and marketing to favouring an ecological and Fairtrade conversion, promoting access to domestic and international markets and establishing public/private partnerships in the districts of Ampara, Monaragala, Badulla, Kandy, and others.

A new Fairtrade-certified spice producer organisation- ‘Integrated Organic Producers Association (INOPA)’ was formed with 328 farmers in the 04 districts. With an aim to expand and access the domestic market, a meeting was organised by FT NAPP to connect the Fairtrade spices and herbs producers and traders with the Govt. and private Super Market chains in Sri Lanka. The B2B meetings included the introduction of the Fairtrade standards and trade requirements to the supermarket chains, one-to-one meeting between the supermarket representatives and traders,  followed by an overall discussion on the initiatives and strategies for local market initiatives. INOPA along with the existing 25 Fairtrade small-scale organisations in the country were supported through regular capacity-building programs, producer exchange visits, and promotion at National Trade Fairs.

After leading strategic dialogues with Fairtrade International and National Fairtrade Marketing Organisations for product testing, quality check, licensing, etc, 04 new supply chains were established by Fairtrade NAPP. In 2022, 04 brands have received licenses from Fairtrade International to sell in the Global and National market with the Fairtrade label.

As you look through the products on a store shelf, you will often notice a variety of certification labels with claims that could confuse you! On the other hand, when you see the Fairtrade mark, the message clearly signifies a total commitment towards making trade FAIR for everyone in the Value chain! The Fairtrade approach facilitates long-term trading partnerships that yield sustainable and decent livelihoods for the farmers and workers behind many popular products and brands. Fairtrade sets social, economic, and environmental standards that progressively raise the bar in various sectors. Promoting sustainable production and revenue sharing with farmers and workers is at the heart of the Fairtrade model.

All this has helped to make the FAIRTRADE Mark the most widely recognised and respected ethical certification label globally. Although we’ve had only Fairtrade producers in Sri Lanka, now through the Sri Lankan National Market initiative we would also like to encourage Sri Lankans to be the consumers of these Fairtrade-certified products which are of international quality.

Sanjeet Singh Khurana; Executive Director- Fairtrade NAPP

Under a service agreement with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM)- Government agency for Marketing, a strategy was developed to promote and create awareness of Fairtrade-certified products in the country and to penetrate the market. Several local promotions were done through digital ads, social media channels, local broadcasts, and outdoor campaigns.

As part of the marketing strategy,  more local products such as coconuts, herbs, fresh fruits, and tea were included,  in addition to spices. This has created opportunities for more people to benefit.

Now consumers can find ethically and sustainably produced, export quality Fairtrade certified coconut based products, fruits and spices from  Bee Naturals on the shelves of 11 supermarket outlets of SPAR in Sri Lanka. What’s more! The premium generated is transferred directly to the Fairtrade producers to further their empowerment and development.

In the Southern coastal area, consumers and visitors can also buy  coconut based products, spices and fruits from MAP brand at 06 tourist-based outlets,  Additionally , tea lovers can procure  tea from Horana Plantation outlet  in Colombo.

Additionally, interest has also been expressed by 02 private supermarket chains with outlets across Sri Lanka and 01 govt. supermarket to display and sell Fairtrade products.

“The launch of Fairtrade Products on the local market is an opportunity for consumers as well as businesses to take a step toward sustainability. Sri Lankan consumers now have the opportunity to support Producer Organizations at the local level. Best wishes from Fairtrade Italy to all the farmers and workers who joined this innovative project”.