So Fairtrade fortnight has been and gone – running from the 28th of February to the 8th of March, its aim is to raise awareness of the importance of Fairtrade. But it’s not just something you can pick up for a couple of weeks, and then ditch again. Fairtrade products should be on your shopping list every trip, and I am about to tell you why!
Fairtrade is about securing better prices, better working conditions and fair trading conditions for farmers and their workers. When you purchase a product with the Fairtrade Mark, you are helping support local communities – and more often than not, small businesses. As for certain products, including cocoa, coffee, cotton and rice – Fairtrade only certifies small-scale farmer organisations. For other products such as bananas, tea and flowers, Fairtrade also certifies plantations – companies that employ huge numbers of workers! The rules for such large-scale production units differ – they ensure protection for their workers basic rights ( from keeping them safe and healthy to preventing discrimination and ensuring no bonded or illegal child labour ) They also require employers to pay wages that amount to a living wage. Just think what this means for local communities? And on top of these benefits, their is also a Fairtrade premium – which is paid over and above the Fairtrade price. This fund goes into a communal fund for workers and farmers to use – as they see fit – to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. This can be spent on education, health, roads – amongst other things. All of which are important for the development of the communities.
Fairtrade offers the workers the chance to have many opportunities and benefits, that we take for granted in the United Kingdom. Its shouldn’t really be a question of why buy Fairtrade, but really – Why not?
There are many everyday products that you can easily swap – and without much extra expense, if any! Tea, coffee, bananas and chocolate are a good place to start – but many others should be looked out for, if you choose to buy products from any of the countries listed on the Producer Map.
During Fairtrade fortnight – Marks and Spencers offered to let me try some of their Fairtrade Products – and I must say I was impressed with the loveliness of the range – right from the packaging, to the clearly high quality products. I know where I will be going to stock up on my Fairtrade Teas and Coffees from now on. And dont even mention the Chocolate! The bananas are waiting to to make my favourite banana cake and the wine is looking forward to being featured in one of my first Wine Wednesdays next week! Watch this space btw, Im hoping Wine Wednesdays are going to be a winner!
Im dedicating myself to buying Fairtrade, when I can. Which shall hopefully be all the time! How about you?