World Fair Trade Day 2017

Happy World Fair Trade Day 2017!

IMG_4037Some of my favourite fair trade goods.

In my last blog, I talked about transparency and how difficult it can be to consume ethical goods. Checking for Fair Trade logos (either the WTFO or Fair Trade Foundation logo) on the products the you’re consuming  is a sure fire way of knowing that the people who produced that product have been paid fairly and treated with dignity. It’s a super easy way to be ethical.

The World Fair Trade Organisation (WTFO) was established over 30 years ago and have been an amazing force for change. To be a member, organisations are required to incorporate the following 10 principles of fair trade into their day to day activities:

  1. Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers
  2. Transparency and Accountability
  3. Trade Relations
  4. Payment of a Fair Price
  5. Child Labour
  6. Non-Discrimination, Gender Equality and Freedom of Association
  7. Working Conditions
  8. Capacity Building
  9. Promoting Fair Trade
  10. The Environment

I recently read about these principles and the broader agenda for Fair Trade in Safia Minney’s book Slave to Fashion. It was an eye-opener to learn the details; the work being done by these movements is so much broader and more comprehensive than I’d imagined. Rather embarrasingly, I thought that Fair Trade was only concerned with a system that ensures producers and farmers receive fair payment. As you can see in the list above, that is just one of the nine principles.

The WTFO promote the idea of the “triple bottom line” accounting practice – people, planet and profit – and also advice large institutions. This is brilliant news! It’s oh so easy to fall into the trap that everything is rubbish and nothing is being changed for the better. I blame the news, frankly, but that’s another matter for another day.

We’ve been buying organic and fair trade, where possible for some time now. Some of my favourite Fair Trade products (as shown above) include: Odylique’s excellent lipsticks, People Tree’s clothes, Grumpy Mule coffee beans and Cocoa Loco chocolate. If you’re in Sussex like me, I highly recommend The Fair Shop in Brighton for amazing Fair Trade fashion and accessories and Cocoa Loco’s shop and café in Horsham for lovely presents and a spot of indulgence. All members of the family are fans of the delicious chocolate dipped mangos and hot chocolate spoons. I absolutely love the cafe and try to grab a coffee there if time and toddlers permit.

IMG_3974Organic and Fair Trade salted caramel brownies and coffee in Cocoa Loco’s café. Yummy.

Buying Fair Trade is Easy

Bananas, tea, coffee, sugar and chocolate are common Fair Trade products found in most supermarkets. Most varieties of Tate & Lyle sugar are Fair Trade and there are loads of Fair Trade coffees and teas to choose from.  It really is easy to switch over to these products. Doing so will have a big impact on the communities growing or producing these goods. It’s a really positive thing to do.

IMG_4052Fair Trade tea by Clipper, chocolates from Cocoa Loco, coffee from Grumpy Mule and bananas from Barcombe Nurseries fruit &  veg box scheme.

Fair trade cotton is trickier but there are a few companies selling organic and Fair Trade clothes and shoes. My husband has recently bought some organic and Fair Trade hi-tops from Ethletic shoes; Nudie sell some awesome menswear; and I try to buy my clothes from ethical companies, such as People Tree who are hugely involved in both selling great Fair Trade clothes and also championing the movement too.

Fair trade flowers aren’t something I’ve consciously chosen before but a quick google search shows that both Interflora and M&S sell fair trade bunches. That’s next Mother’s Day sorted! There are loads of other Fair Trade products out there too from shower gels, to gold jewellery.

It’s a shame that I only read about World Fair Trade Day today. They’ve been running an Agent for Change campaign on social media today. I didn’t have time to get involved as it involved printing coloured documents and taking a selfie with friends. I tried to lend some support on Instagram with a picture of my favourite Fair Trade products. A bit pathetic but better than nothing!

And finally from the WTFO website:

The 2017 celebration is the third in the series of ‘Be An Agent for Change’ campaign. We believe that Fair Trade is an Agent for Change, a solution to trade injustices and imbalances of power in the supply chain. People in the Fair Trade supply chain and the consumers supporting Fair Trade products are Agents for Change. It is our inherent power to make change. We believe that anyone can be an Agent for Change.

Together, hand in hand, we can work for a fairer world.

#fairtradeday #agentforchange  

Until next year!

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