Fair Trade

Better for people, better for the environment

In October 2007, Sam’s Club became the first mass-market retailer in the U.S. to offer Fair Trade Certified bananas. Through the end of 2011, we’ve sold 1.6 million boxes of Fair Trade Certified bananas, which generated an estimated $1.6 million to fund life-changing community development projects in Colombia and Ecuador. For example, Martha Maria, a banana farm with 24 workers in Colombia – has used the funds to provide uniforms, teaching materials and tuition assistance to 80 low-income children in the community. Fair Trade funds also provide scholarships for workers and their children to pursue higher education. Additional fair trade success stories include:

Private label coffee


Through the support of the Fair Trade program, our Sam’s Club private label coffee program paid more than $680,000 directly back to farmers in Brazil and Colombia in 2011. The money is being used to educate their children and to improve their own farming practices and yields.

Sustainable Palm Oil

Fresh banana nut bread
In 2011, Sam’s Club Artisan Fresh Banana Nut Bread became the first product in North America to feature both the Fair Trade Certified sugar and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil’s (RSPO) Sustainable Mixed Palm Oil logos. Farmers in Belize are using money from sales to rebuild roads destroyed by Hurricane Dean, provide scholarships to their children and increase productivity on their farms.

Fresh sliced pound cake
In 2011, Sam’s Club also unveiled its Artisan Fresh Sliced Pound Cake, which uses Fair Trade Certified sugar. Previously, a limited number of retailers had carried frozen cakes, but none had offered a Fair Trade Certified fresh bakery item on a national level. These Fair Trade funds continue to benefit the lives and communities of sugarcane farmers in Belize.