Fairtrade began humbly – all the way back in the 1940s. First, churches in North America and Europe began to purchase and import crafts from impoverished areas. These small efforts made a significant difference to refugees and communities around the world.
In 1958, the world’s first Fairtrade shop opened its doors for the first time. Fast-forward a further six decades, and there are now 1,411 Fairtrade organisations spanning 74 countries, with Fairtrade products sold in over 120 countries - grown and harvested by 1.65 million farmers and workers.
The Fairtrade of today involves as many as 3000 grassroot organisations. And the work never stops to further the cause for the world’s most recognised hallmark of ethical produce. As the perfect example of the power of Fairtrade, smaller producers spend 48% of their Fairtrade premium on services for farmers (such as training and tools); while coffee farmers also spend 25% of their Fairtrade premium in boosting productivity and quality. On plantations workers spend 26% of their Fairtrade premium on education.
Safe to say that over the years Fairtrade has come a long way – transforming living conditions, consumer opinions and going some way to redress the imbalance between western consumers and third-world farmers.
The vision of the Fairtrade Foundation
“Fairtrade has a vision of a world in which justice and sustainable development are at the heart of trade and business so that everyone, through their work, can maintain a decent and dignified livelihood”.
The mission of the World Fair Trade Organization
“WFTO’s mission is to enable producers to improve their livelihoods and communities through Fair Trade”.
Fairtrade Fortnight, £1.86
Fairtrade Fortnight 2019, running from the 25th February – 10th March, was made for chocolate fans and designed to improve the lives of cocoa farmers.
£1.86. That’s the amount that a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs, per day, to earn a living-income (the kind that provides a reasonable quality of life). And yet the average cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire struggles along on just 74p per day, while the vast majority of their fellow cocoa farmers in West Africa also live in poverty.
Female cocoa farmers face an even bigger everyday uphill battle – they plant and harvest, take care of their children, in between which they carry water, collect wood, cook, clean, transport coca beans and more. All while enjoying far fewer rights than their male counterparts.
As part of the Fairtrade Fortnight 2019 campaign, the Fairtrade Foundation is calling for a living income for West African cocoa farmers; working alongside governments, chocolate companies and retailers, they are pushing for international trade deals that work for the poor”.
Ready to Get Involved?
Aside from choosing products approved by the Fairtrade Foundation (look out for the distinctive Fairtrade Mark), there are a number of ways that the Fairtrade Foundation suggest supporting the campaign.
By taking a simple step today, you could be part of the difference needed to transform the lives of West African farmers and families. You could help them school their children, access medical treatment and water. All of the things we take for granted.
Sign the ‘She Deserves’ petition
This petition calls on the UK Government to take a bolder approach in ensuring our trade with developing nations focusses on poverty reduction – for a fair living-income, for all.
Put on an event, or go further with a fundraiser
When we say event, we don’t mean a sit-down meal for 100+ people, nor anything that’ll demand a big budget and extensive marketing.
An event could be as simple as gathering a department or a few colleagues over Fairtrade hot chocolate (and chocolate cake), and asking for donations of £1.86.
Want to go bigger, like with a Fairtrade chocolate bake sale? A 5K run? A raffle, football game or organised bike ride? There are countless possibilities for a bigger fundraising effort.
Simply (and quickly) share on social media
A follow and a share take less than 30 seconds, and will help spread awareness of the unbalanced everyday conditions Western African cocoa farmers face.
Keep up, by signing up for email updates
Fairtrade Fortnight is set to be the biggest yet.
Stay up-to-date with all that’s going on by signing up for direct to your inbox news.
Taste-good, do-good beverages – explore our Fairtrade products now
Bright and full-bodied tea, morning-saving cups of coffee, comforting, sweet hot chocolate. Now they all arrive with the Fairtrade Mark – so you can be safe in the knowledge that they do good, while tasting great.
Our shop is brimming with delicious, ethical Fairtrade products – from filter coffee to tea, infusions onto hot chocolate.
Want to test a new Fairtrade bean in your bean-to-cup machine? Get in touch and we’ll arrange a time to visit so we can change your product over (don’t be tempted to simply switch your beans, as at best you’ll end up with imbalanced extraction that impacts the taste quality, and quite possibly your machine will simply grind to a halt!).
Top Roast & Ground tip: tap ‘Fairtrade’ into our shop search to be served up with every Fairtrade product we sell.