By Sian Horton, UWE Student and blog writer for The Green Team
Whilst I have known what Fairtrade ‘is’, I admit I am still rather ignorant to it all. So here is a definition for you all:
“An international standards and certification system in which producers and buyers agree to uphold certain minimum standards and payments, and in return their product can be labelled with the Fairtrade Mark” (Fairtrade.org)
Whilst researching I found there was a difference between Fairtrade and Fair trade. Fairtrade, as one word reflects the internationally recognised system showing that the item has adhered to the legal requirements. Fair trade, written as two words, means that something is ‘fairly traded’. The literature on Fair trade is mixed, some argue it is better, some argue it is worse. But I would say to air a bit of caution and look for the Fairtrade sticker for good measure.
Fair-trade, put simply is when trade has been fair. Fair trade is for all those along the supply chain. The saddening reality is that exploitation occurs in pursuit of the everyday items that we ‘can’t live without’. Our morning cup of coffee for example. Fabio (2019) wrote that at a plantation in Brazil, 59 workers (including children aged 13) were working undocumented and underpaid plus lacking safety equipment. Doward (2020) wrote that ‘dispatches’ visited seven farms linked to Nespresso and five linked to Starbucks, child labour was found on all of those farms.
And that is only one aspect. After researching further, I found that exploitation, child labour and low pay is commonplace in the everyday items we may acquire. So, I decided; I do not want to be a part of it anymore. As consumers, we can direct the market, and supporting Fairtrade can be a way to make more ethical choices. If you would like to be more Fairtrade aware, here are some things you can do:
Take part in Fairtrade Fortnight
It is running this year from the 21 February until the 6 March 2022. It will be a FREE online event like last year. Have a look at the line-up for this colourful and creative festival here:
Local Bristolians, let's volunteer!
Danni Rochman is the person to contact for finding out more information about Fairtrade and Fairtrade opportunities in the Bristol area.
Here is a link to the Website, have a look and get involved!
Shop Fairtrade online
I had a look at some online shops, and I was pleasantly surprised about the price, I thought they were good value for money! Traidcraft was one of the ‘original fair trade pioneers in the UK’ and their online shop contains all sorts of food, drink, clothes and home décor too. Have a look on their website:
Look for local Fairtrade shops
Here are some Fairtrade shops in the Bristol area:
Here is a link to the website: https://betterfood.co.uk/better-giving/bristol-fairtrade-network/
Bristol is an amazing place to begin your Fairtrade venture, and I am sure there are many more out there. The Bristol Fairtrade Network is a group of local volunteers and businesses who support Fair trade.
Have a look at their website: https://www.bristolfoodnetwork.org/newsletter/
Reminding ourselves of the journey our goods have gone through to get to us, serves as a gentle reminder of how intrinsic every person is to that process. For that reason, it is only right that should be treated with dignity and respect and given the pay they deserve.
Jamie Doward, 1/3/2020, “Children as young as eight picked coffee beans on farms supplying Starbucks”, The guardian, Online:// https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/01/children-work-for-pittance-to-pick-coffee-beans-used-by-starbucks-and-nespresso
Fabio Teixeira, 12/12/2019, “Picked by slaves: coffee crisis brews in brazil”, Reuters. Online:// https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-coffee-slavery-idUSKBN1YG13E
Jess Saunders 25/02/2019, “Five ways you can support Fairtrade”, Ecotricity. Online:// https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/our-news/2019/five-ways-you-can-support-fairtrade
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