Link to Fairtrade UK website.
Look out for this trademark on 
products when you shop.

COLCHESTER FAIRTRADE TOWN CAMPAIGN

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What is Fairtrade ?

“Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times  ..............  that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils.”

Nelson Mandela    
Make Poverty History rally, London
    

Fairtrade is not just about coffee, or tea, or chocolate, or fruit, or snacks, or clothes, or gifts, or even footballs.

  • Fairtrade is about people !

“The US Government subsidises rice which costs $1.8Bn to grow to the tune of $1.3Bn - effectively paying 72% of the cost of production.  They then dump 4.7 million tonnes at 34% of the production costs on developing countries.”

“Kicking Down the Door”    
OXFAM, 2005 
   

It's about people who have been stitched up by the whole exploitative system of world trade that puts profit first, second and third before it thinks about justice.  It creates a rigged market that trashes people's ability to sell their produce and earn a decent living.

It's about people who have been exploited for decades - getting a miserly day's pay for a hard week's work.  It's about people who have known hunger and illness most of their lives due to poverty.  It's about people who have watched their kids die young through drinking filthy water, poor sanitation and lack of health care and education.

  • Fairtrade is about transforming people's lives.

The Fairtrade mark (see top, left) guarantees:-

  • Producers get a fair, stable minimum price through long-term contracts for their products, which covers their food, housing and other basic needs
  • A “social premium” for producers to improve their lives through, for example, new community facilities
  • Adherence to strict environmental criteria
  • A stronger position in world markets, especially for smaller scale production
  • A closer link between consumers and producers
  • A democratic marketing structure controlled by the producers
  • Adherence to the main International Labour Organisation conventions on workers’ conditions

We choose Fairtrade products.  We do the right thing and we feel good about the way we live our lives.  We are part of the answer, not part of the problem.

We get quality products at a fair price.  The producers get a fair slice of the cake - not just the crumbs !  The commodity broker fat cats are on a diet.


The Fairtrade movement

Fair Trade began as a grassroots movement about 40 years ago in Europe, as groups and charities recognised the important role that consumers could play to improve the situation for producers.  Importing groups were set up to buy directly from the producers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.  The goods were sold directly through their own “One World” shops or through mail order catalogues, thus giving consumers the opportunity to buy fairly traded products.  The need to bring these goods to a much wider customer base led to the setting up in 1992 of the Fairtrade Foundation by CAFOD, Christian Aid, New Consumer, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement – later to be joined by Britain’s largest women’s organisation, the Women’s Institute – in order to develop the Fairtrade Mark. 

The Fairtrade mark on labelled goods certifies that products meet Fairtrade standards.  It cannot be used except under the terms of the Fairtrade Foundation’s licence agreement.  The Foundation itself does not buy or sell products, but works with all those that do.  It is the UK member of Fairtrade Labelling Organisations, which unites 17 national initiatives across Europe, Japan and North America, which has one world-wide set of standards for producers and traders.  There are regular inspections and certification through a global network of trained inspectors. 

There are over 500 retail and over 200 catering products.  For example, there are dozens of different roast and ground coffees.  Other products include tea, chutneys, sauces, jams, fruit, wines, pasta, rice, biscuits, snack bars, gifts, clothes and, yes, even footballs !

According to a MORI poll, 50% of people interviewed recognised the Fairtrade mark, figure that has doubled in the last two years.  The UK is the second largest market for Fairtrade goods after Switzerland.  Fairtrade sales here are currently doubling every two years.