Today is the start for the Fairtrade Foundations ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’, this years theme is ‘Take a Step for Fairtrade in 2012’. During Fairtrade fortnight the Fairtrade Foundation is challenging the public to think about what they can do every day, every week or every month throughout 2012 to make a difference to the lives of farmers in the developing world who produce the products they buy – whether that be choosing to buy a Fairtrade coffee on the way to work, or making sure their weekly shopping baskets contain one or two more Fairtrade products like Fairtrade tea or bananas, or encouraging their friends and family to switch to Fairtrade.
Some of you will be aware that my previous job involved regular trips to Nepal and working with producers there to ensure they were working in suitable working conditions, being well paid for their work and that all our companies Fair Trade principles were being upheld. I met a lot of wonderful people during my time in Nepal and we remain firm friends and colleagues through our support via our small shop here in Korcula.
I would like to share a little of what Fair Trade involves and encourage you to look out for Fair Trade products next time you are shopping. I am well aware that where we live and income levels both play a large role in the choices we make as consumers and I find it a huge challenge being able to uphold my Fair Trade shopping commitments here in Korcula.
FAIR TRADE INVOLVES:
Payment to suppliers of prices that reflect the true cost of production
Payment of a fair wage
- including equal pay for equal work by men & women
Fair working conditions that include;
- a safe & healthy working environment
- no child labour involvement
- flexible working hours
- respect & promotion of cultural & religious values
Sustainable production & environmentally friendly production methods
Assisting producer groups by providing;
- product development ideas
- market trend information
- increased access to market
Our choices do count: even in spending a fraction of your income on fairly traded products you can be sure that your money is directly helping producers earn a decent wage and, in turn, keeping both families and communities together.
When you buy a fair trade product you are giving producers a chance to sell their goods at a stable price that covers their costs and enables them to support their families & invest in a better future.
To read more about the Fairtrade Foundation & Fairtrade Fortnight, please click HERE.
Do you have a favourite Fairtrade product or any thoughts about Fairtrade that you would like to share?
‘I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process’.