Fairtrade Fortnight launched 20 years ago and highlights produce carrying the Fairtrade Mark. The Fairtrade mark supports farmers and workers, steering to improve lives, communities and the environment – this year the initiative ran from 23 February until 8 March.
Somerset became one of the first Fairtrade counties in England, and Frome has been a Fairtrade Town since 2003. This status means that a good percentage of Frome shops and businesses buy, use and sell Fairtrade items. FTC is also committed to buying Fairtrade produce whenever possible.
The Fairtrade movement has made fantastic progress over the last 20 years; with the Fairtrade mark now widely recognised as the top ethical label in the UK. This is partly down to groups and volunteers promoting the value and importance of tackling poverty and empowering producers in developing countries.
Fairtrade Frome is one such steering group working hard to raise awareness in the South West. To highlight Fairtrade Fortnight they displayed information at the FTC offices. They provide much insight into what it means to support Fairtrade and they even have a Frome Fair directory, that can be found here. Listings include shops, cafes, offices, hotels, B&Bs, places if interest, churches and schools. Over 1140 producers/organisations worldwide are now fairtrade, commodities include fruit, coffee, wine, chocolate, beauty products, flowers, sugar, cotton, and metals. Over £23m was generated from fairtrade sales in the UK alone! You can find out more about Fairtrade Frome, and who is your next local advocate is here .
So what are the key elements of Fairtrade – and why should you buy into them?
1 Social development: Fair-trade enforces social rights and security to workers. Forced labour and child labour are also prohibited in the fairtrade standards.
2 Economic development: There’s a fairtrade minimum price, which aims to help producers cover their costs of running their business, meaning it’s a sustainable enterprise.
3 Environmental development: Fairtrade requires a standard of environmentally friendly practices, aiming to benefit the planet – as well as people!
Still want to know more? Check out The Fairtrade Foundation here .