When I first started buying Fairtrade products I did it because I knew it was the ethical thing to do and I rarely enjoyed the products – the coffee and chocolate tasted pretty grim! How things have changed in the last ten years! Buying fairly traded goods is a tasty and relatively easy option as more and more shops and manufacturers are going for the big ‘FT’ badge. I love Divine chocolate bars, I cheered loudly when Cadbury’s Dairy Milk joined the club and I have just heard that Ben and Jerry’s icecream and KitKats are about to go 100%.
Despite the products sometimes being a few pence more expensive, public loyalty to Fairtrade in 2009’s tough economic climate has lead to double digit growth as Fairtrade sales reach £800m.
Fairtrade Fortnight 2010 runs from 22nd February until 7th March. You can get some useful and up-to-date information on the FairTrade website – www.fairtrade.org.uk
Traidcraft are also asking supporters to make the most of this time and are focusing on tea. They are encouraging people to hold Big Brew events and serve Fairtrade tea and coffee and make donations to make a difference to tea producers’ lives. There are currently 200 Big Brews happening, where 19055 cups of Fairtrade tea and coffee will be served and £11603 is expected to be raised.
This might be the perfect opportunity to ask your neighbours round for an informal event. Or maybe send a quick text round the friends you have as contacts on your mobile and invite them for a cuppa next week, it doesn’t have to be in a perfect house with home bakes. Most people would be delighted with a hot drink, a flapjack or some chunks of chocolate and a warm welcome. For those with daytime work commitments an evening get together might be a better option – traidcraft make some good fairtrade wine before finishing off the evening with the Big Brew style cup of tea.
We have some exciting news about our favourite fairly traded jewellery supplier, Achkiy – they are almost ready to launch their new website. You can be sure that we will give you the details here as soon as we have them.