Fairtrade Fortnight & 6 Fairtrade products you didn’t know existed
Yep, it’s that time of year again, Fairtrade Fortnight is coming! Fairtrade is a big part of Ethical Superstore and always has been, a big portion of the products we sell are Fairtrade labelled. Since we launched way back in 2005 Fairtrade has come a long way and is now widely recognized by the public and we hope we have helped promote it along the way and introduce people to the label and the ethics behind it.
Fairtrade Fortnight was actually originally held in 1997 in Scotland and was used to get every supermarket in Scotland to stock Fairtrade products, supporters of Traidcraft, Oxfam, SCIAF, Christian Aid Scotland and the World Development Movement visited Scottish supermarkets to encourage them to begin stocking Fairtrade products. The next year Fairtrade Fortnight spread to the rest of the UK and is now celebrated in many countries across the world.
This year the Fairtrade Foundation are focusing their attention on bananas, which in the UK have halved in price over the past ten years. This may sound great to us but the sad fact is their cost of production has almost doubled which can spell disaster for millions of families in the developing world who depend on the banana trade for their livelihood. The Supermarkets have had a ‘race to the bottom’ on banana prices, inevitably due to their large size and market power this is sustainable for them as they can squeeze the price they pay for them and still remain profitable, that means it is the farmers who are paying for the majority of the saving you are getting at the supermarket rather than the supermarkets themselves who of course benefit from your purchases.
To put a human face on the campaign the Fairtrade Foundation have enlisted the help of Albeiro Alfonso ‘Foncho’ Cantillo, a banana farmer from Columbia who is travelling from his banana farm in Cienaga to ask Vince Cable to investigate unfair supermarket pricing practices and act to protect the producers of the UK’s favorite fruit. You can show your support by signing the petition and sticking with Foncho to make bananas fair. And of course you could make sure you buy Fairtrade bananas next time you are in the supermarket. This may be easier said than done as I tried to buy Fairtrade bananas from my local ASDA last night which didn’t have any 🙂
So how else can you get involved? Well you can spread the word, let your friends, family, colleagues, that random person you will speak to on the bus tomorrow, know how important Fairtrade is for the wellbeing of farmers in the third world.
The best way to get involved is simply to choose to buy Fairtrade products! We all know you can have plenty of choice with Fairtrade chocolate, tea and coffee, but there is so much more, and you’d probably be surprised to see just what you can get, how many of you knew you could buy Fairtrade footballs??
Did you know about these Fairtrade products?
|Beer! – Mongozo beer is probably some of the nicest beer you’ll ever try! I remember a few years back in when I was in Brussels, a place where they certainly know their beer, I went into a bar which claimed to sell 6000 (yes SIX THOUSAND) different kinds of beer.Amongst the more exotic ones I saw Mongozo, a banana beer, I couldn’t resist. And I have to say it was the nicest beer I’d ever had, although I was slightly jealous of my friend who got the coconut flavoured one served from a coconut! Also strangely for me one of the other exotic beers was Newcastle Brown Ale, which I suppose is exotic if you are from Belgium but not if you are a Geordie like myself!|
|Vodka – You may see a theme going here… FAIR Vodka is the first quinoa based Vodka and is also the first Fairtrade vodka in the world. The vodka is made from 3000m high Altiolano plateau of Bolivia and organic sugar cane grown in the Belizean sun. By the way if you buy a bottle in Fairtrade Fortnight don’t drink it all in one go, you’ve got a whole fortnight!|
|Cola – Just to continue the theme above… something to mix your FAIR Vodka with? Ubuntu Cola was the first cola in the UK to get the Fairtrade mark. All that rubbish you read about ‘secret ingredients’ and taking it to the ‘Max’ from your more well know cola makers doesn’t seem like such a great selling point compared to the Fairtrade mark.|
|Footballs – Yep, who would have thought it you can get Fairtrade footballs… And basketballs, netballs, volleyballs and rugby balls! These are made from rubber from responsibly managed rubber plantations.|
|Baby oil – you didn’t see that one coming did you. Amongst other health and beauty products Green People make, their baby oil is Fairtrade, vegan and organic (Soil Association Certified).|
|Flowers – So you forgot about Valentine’s day? No problem, just make up for it with some Fairtrade flowers… errr well maybe not. But next time round you can show you’ve put a bit more thought into it than your average Valentine’s flower buyer. 🙂|