When did Fair Trade start?
Fair Trade started 30 years ago and I started getting involved 15 years ago. We work with Traidcraft, who is a pioneer of the fair trade movement in the UK and was founded on Christian principles, with a mission to fight poverty through trade. Fair Trade was a joint mission founded with Traidcraft. There are over 1.5 million farmers and workers in more than 74 countries participating in Fairtrade.
Traidcraft fight for trade justice for growers and producers in the poorest countries around the world.
How Does Fair Trade work?
Fair Trade works with farmers and individuals all over the world, enabling them to sell their food and products worldwide, allowing them to build schools, housing and give them a chance in life. Many immigrants come to Britain because life in their own country is not sustainable and if the Fair Trade process was better understood, perhaps the situation would not be so bad.
Getting Farmers and Traders involved
There is a cost involved to get started with Traidcraft, and for some it is out of their reach, however they do help farmers or traders achieve that first step. New Fair Traders are assessed, particularly to ensure that they are treating their workers right and paying them.
What Fair Trade Products are available?
The most well-known products are tea, coffee and bananas, but there are many more, including craft products and clothes, which come from countries all over the world.
In the poorest of countries there are over 1m people living or surviving on just £1.50 per day, hard to understand when compared with our standard of living. Fair Trade is a way of getting these people out of poverty and giving them a chance in life.
The price of Fair Trade food and products varies dramatically depending on where you purchase them – some substantially higher than others – the price merely reflecting the markup of the supplier. If more people understood how Fair Trade works perhaps there would be more sales and every sale, however small, will impact hugely on the Farmer or trader, as a few pence or pounds spent here is worth so much more in poor countries.
Where can Fair Trade products be bought in Uckfield?
All the major supermarkets sell it, and many of the coffee shops serve it. Our local monthly farmers markets are our equivalent of Fair Trade for 3rd world countries, with around 80 products available. They can also be bought online. At the Uckfield Farmers Market, Fair Trade offers coffee mornings at the Source – bottom end of Luxford Field Car Park (CAB building) – from 10-12 am on the first Saturday of every month. Do come and join us.
Article written by Sue Edwards for Jeremy Hallett, Fair Trade Uckfield.
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