To celebrate the end of Fairtrade fortnight, the Sorven Media team thought they would put together an article that explains exactly what Fairtrade is, and why you should do your best to buy their produce. .
What is Fairtrade?
The concept of 'fair trade' has been around for over forty years but did not include a formal system until the late 1980s.
It was established by Christian Aid, CAFOD, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement and later joined by the Women's Institute. The first product to be certified was Green & Black's Maya Gold Chocolate followed by Cafedirect coffee and Clipper Tea.
The concept has taken off dramatically since these first products were certified and now includes a variety of food, clothing and gift ranges. The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation which envisions a world in which sustainable development, equality and fair pay form the basis of any trade structure.
In order to achieve this, Fairtrade attempts to transform previous trading structures in order to help the disadvantaged and poverty-stricken. They work with businesses, communities and individuals all around the world to improve the trading rights and position of organisations who are often taken advantage of.
Why Should You Buy Fairtrade?
Fairtrade is not just any non-profit organisation. Not only do they provide a fair and honest service to the communities and businesses involved but they also provide the consumer with great quality produce at a fair price. You reap the benefits of investing in Fairtrade products.
The Fairtrade certification enables the consumer to make informed decisions about their purchase choices and means they can be safe in the knowledge that their money is providing a reasonable income for those people who are involved. The quality of the produce is well worth the price, especially with the realisation that the people putting in the groundwork get fair compensation for their services.
Fairtrade also promotes the education of local communities involved with trade structures and issues. As a charity it believes that ordinary people can make a dramatic difference to the livelihood of the producers and aims to increase awareness of this belief. Fairtrade towns are those which are committed to promoting understanding of trade issues in their local community – to find out more please take a look at the Fairtrade website.
Fairtrade Fortnight 2010
Fairtrade Fortnight 2010 took place from the 22nd of February until the 7th of March and was labelled 'the big swap'! Fairtrade asked the nation to swap their usual produce choices to Fairtrade – whether it be coffee, chocolate, fruit or socks. By doing this the general public proved that they care about their responsibility as consumers and can make a real difference to the lives of the people who grow or sew that which we buy, eat and wear.
Fairtrade fortnight was a phenomenal success with celebrities such as Emma Watson creating Fairtrade fashion lines, Oxfordshire schools hosting a week of incredible green events and Cadbury's offering songs from the likes of Paolo Nutini and Sway when you registered your swap to Fairtrade.
The nation spoke out and showed the world that Britain cares about the lives of the farmers and workers that provide us with so much of our material goods. Why not try to make the swap to Fairtrade certified products yourself and reap the benefits of great quality products that make a real difference to the lives of the producers.