This week is the second week of Fairtrade Fortnight. I had my photo taken with Sir Steve Redgrave this afternoon to show my support.
In the past decade, it’s become easier than ever to ‘show off your label’ by choosing to buy products with the Fairtrade mark. It’s encouraging to see that despite the tough economic climate, businesses and households across the UK are still choosing to spend a little bit extra in order to buy Fairtrade. Sales were up 40 per cent in the past year to over £1 billion. Every day in the UK we consumer 9.3 million cups of Fairtrade tea and 6.4 million cups of Fairtrade coffee.
Fairtrade guarantees a better price for producers of foods like bananas, tea, coffee, chocolate, sugar, mangoes and roses (to name but a few) in developing countries across the world. The price paid covers the cost of production, provides a basic living wage and a ‘social premium’ to invest back into the community, for example in schools or health care centres. It’s a win-win situation: producers are lifted out of poverty and protected from the volatility of market prices and consumers are guaranteed a superior quality product, which is ethically and sustainably produced.
In 2003 Croydon was awarded Fairtrade Borough status (hat-tip to the Labour administration of the time). It achieved this by introducing Fairtrade-marked tea and coffee to Council buildings, council-run residential homes, schools and libraries. A variety of Fairtrade products are also on sale in shops, cafés and churches across Croydon.
If you’re organising a Fairtrade event to ‘show off your label’ over the next fortnight, please let me know.