It can be hard at times to truly stick to the Fairtrade philosophy all the time: you know you should, but for every time you buy a Dubble bar or a bag of Fairtrade coffee, there’s ten more times when you buy Cadbury’s and Nescafé. To promote the Fairtrade movement, celebrities are going to even greater lengths this Fairtrade Fortnight (27 February to 11 March 2012) to raise awareness, with luminaries including Louisa Lytton, Alistair McGowan and Simon Webb all starring in Youtube videos to encourage others to take steps to go Fairtrade.
Through the ‘Take A Step for Fairtrade’ campaign, the Fairtrade Foundation wants to see more individuals and businesses buying and selling Fairtrade products in the UK. The public are being asked to think about what they can do every day, every week or every month throughout 2012 and take a step to make a difference to the lives of farmers in the developing world who produce the products they buy.
With Fairtrade every step counts. In Malawi, for example, sugar farmers earn an extra $60 for every tonne they sell on Fairtrade terms. As a result, farmers in Chinangwa village have been able to bring clean water and electricity to their homes, afford roofs for their houses and school fees for their children.
The more people that support Fairtrade, the more farmers and workers will be able to improve their lives through the better terms of trade it offers. And there’s really no excuse these days for not buying Fairtrade: by shopping at retailers such as the Co-op, visiting your local market stalls, or by buying your coffee and chocolate online at websites such as TraidcraftShop.co.uk, you too can take small steps to Fairtrade-ify your kitchen. I personally get my coffee from Malongo, whose Fairtrade values can be viewed here. It’s not much, on my part, but it’s a start. There’s also an array of Fairtrade cookbooks available; TheFairtradeStore.co.uk has a wide selection that I should definitely invest in.
The Fairtrade Foundation encourages everyone to start their journey at www.fairtrade.org.uk/step, and to check out the rest of the mini-series on the Fairtrade YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/Fairtradefoundation. You won’t regret it!