Today is the first day of Fairtrade Fortnight (February 22nd to March 6th). Each day Devizes Fairtrade Group is going to post a fact about Fairtrade. We hope you find this interesting and maybe consider some of it when you next go shopping.
What is Fairtrade: Fairtrade is a simple way to make a difference to the
lives of the people who grow the things we love. This is achieved by
making trade fair. It’s about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade.
History: The Fairtrade Foundation was started in the UK in 1992 by
CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft the World Development Movement and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.
The Fairtrade Mark: You can tell that a product or its ingredients have been fairly traded by looking for the Fairtrade symbol. It was adopoted in 2002. It looks like this:-
The blue stands for potential and the green for growth. (Or you can see it as a producer waving!)
Local Versus Fairtrade: Many people think that by supporting Fairtrade they will be choosing over local farmers and workers but Fairtrade focuses mainly on products such as coffee, tea and bananas that can’t be grown in temperate climates.
Products: There are now over 6000 different products available in the UK from sugar, tea and coffee to flowers, clothes and jewellery.
Tea: An estimated 70,000 cups of tea are drunk every second yet tea
farmers and workers struggle to get a fair deal. One in four children in
Kenya’s tea and coffee-growing regions are malnourished and one in 10
children in the tea-growing regions of Malawi die before their fifth
Chocolate: Chocolate was the first product to be certified Fairtrade in
the UK. The chocolate market is huge and very profitable. In Britain
alone around £4 billion a year is spent on chocolate yet cocoa farmers
earn on average $1 a day - well below the subsistence level. In other
words they often can’t afford food, let alone a bar of chocolate.
Gold: We all love a bit of bling but how often do we stop to think about
where the gold comes from? Gold mines can be hazardous places, with
miners working in structurally insecure pits, without protective gear
and using harmful chemicals such as mercury to recover gold. Fairtrade
Gold is sourced exclusively from mines which meet the Fairtrade Gold
Standard which must adhere to strict requirements on working
conditions, health and safety, handling chemicals, women’s rights, child
labour and protection of the environment.
Coffee: Around 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee for their livelihoods but coffee is well known for being a boom and bust commodity, having significant consequences for them. With Fairtrade, certified coffee producer organisations are guaranteed to receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price which acts as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level.
Fairtrade Premium: The Fairtrade premium is what sets Fairtrade apart from anything else. On top of the price farmers and workers receive for their produce or labour, their community receives an extra sum of money to invest in improving the quality of their lives.
Devizes Fairtrade Group: The Devizes Fairtrade Group was set up in
2004 and Devizes became a Fairtrade town in 2006. Look out for the
Fairtrade symbol in shop and café windows and the Fairtrade Town
signs at the entrances to the town.
Bananas: One in three bananas bought in the UK is Fairtrade and it makes a huge difference to thousands of farmers, workers and their families.
Cotton: Fairtrade has been working with cotton farmers since 2010 and there are now many outlets for Fairtrade cotton clothes and bedding. Google Fairtrade cotton to find a list of some of these.
Challenge: Hopefully these facts have convinced you that the collectively we can make a difference. So today there is a challenge for you as well. Find a product that you haven’t used before and try it!
Commitment: Would you like to help spread the word about Fairtrade?
Why not join our small group of activists? Contact Antonia Tolhurst:
If you haven't watched any of the events of the Fairtrade Foundation's
online Festival of Climate, Fairtrade and You do go to
www.fairtrade.org.uk and click on Get Involved and then On Demand
where they can all be seen.
Thank you for following us over the last two weeks.
Fairtrade Fortnight this year runs from February 22nd to March 7th. The theme is 'Climate Fairtrade and You.' See below this notice for more information about the theme.
The Devizes Fairtrade Group will be running a Fairtrade Coffee Morning on Zoom from 10.30 am on Saturday 6th March.
A couple of short films about how the changing climate is affecting producers of things like coffee and chocolate and how Fairtrade can help them will be shown and there will be a Fairtrade Quiz and a short discussion.
You are welcome to join in for all or part of the time.
To get the link please email email@example.com.
For a more detailed programme see the News page on this website.