Monday, 22 February 2010

From Pants to Pineapples - Fairtrade Fortnight 2010

22nd Feb - 2nd March is Fairtrade Fortnight. An annual national jamboree that both celebrates and challenges the role of consumer in delivering a world free of poverty.

The theme of this year’s fortnight is ‘The Big Swap’ with a focus on increasing the number Fairtrade goods available in local shops. Over the last decade alone there have been some incredible moves towards fair-trade with major commitments including Dairy Milk and Tate and Lyle Sugar turning fair-trade. This has been supported by the growth in the ‘fairtrade towns' and 'places of worship’ movement that ensures a minimum saturation of fair-trade goods in the locality. However, the march for justice must continue.

Have a think before you shop and see if there may be a fair-trade option for what you need. The special mark (pictured) isn’t just confined to tea and coffee, instead covering a huge range of things from pants to pineapples, biscuits to bouquets of flours. This range of options means 2009 was the most successful year for fair-trade with produce sales close to £800million worth of sales. What threatens to undermine this success is avaliability. This fairtrade we are being asked to ask our local shops to stock the fairtrade products we want. It takes a few moments to write a letter, but the result could not only change your local community, it could ensure a fair price is paid for your goods in communities all over the world.

You have the potential to deliver justice on a daily basis. Use this fortnight to think, pray and act for a world built on trade that values the grower.